The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) provisions in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) allow certain spouses, children, and parents of abusive U.S. citizens and certain spouses and children of abusive permanent residents to petition for citizenship without their abuser’s knowledge. These provisions provide a safe avenue for victims, both men and women, to petition on their own behalf.
The VAWA petitioner must submit form I-360, and submit all necessary supporting documentation. Documents required involve proof of relationship and proof of citizenship of the abuser, including birth certificates, passports, or other citizenship documents. This process can be completed with the help of an immigration organization, such as the Immigration Advocacy and Support Center. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website also provides detailed instructions and information about the process and VAWA itself. If VAWA seems like a viable option for you, please browse the resources listed below.
- The National Domestic Violence Hotline provides information, crisis intervention, and referrals to local service providers, including legal assistance organizations, to victims of domestic violence or anyone calling on their behalf at 1-800-799-7233. For TTY (deaf or hard of hearing) call: 1-800-787-3224. The Hotline services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, toll-free from anywhere in the United States, Puerto Rico, or the U.S. Virgin Islands. The staff and volunteers speak both English and Spanish and have access to translators in 139 languages.