23 Jan You may qualify for permanent residence based on spousal abuse
By Atty. Crispin Caday Lozano
If you entered into a good faith marriage but after the marriage your U.S. citizen of lawful permanent resident spouse is abusing you, then you do not have to sacrifice to get your permanent resident. You can immediately apply for a waiver of joint filing based on the information and document that you are an abused spouse. Your dependent children can be included in this application to remove condition on residence.
If your abusive spouse has not filed a permanent resident petition for you, you may file the petition by yourself with the proof that you are an abused spouse. A self petitioner who married an abusive U.S. citizen may file an adjustment of status at the same time that the self petition is filed. If the spouse of the self petitioner is a lawful permanent resident he or she will have to wait until the I-360 petition is approved and the priority date for the second preference is current. VAWA also applies to men who are abused by their spouse. Spousal abuse includes physical or psychological abuse. In physical abuse the best evidence is a police report or medical report while in a psychological abuse the evidence could be an evaluation by a psychologist or psychiatrist.
Question: Who qualifies for self-petition and cancellation of removal under Violence against Women Act (VAWA)?
Answer: The following qualify for self-petition and cancellation of removal:
- Abused spouse, former spouse, or intended spouse of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident.
- Abused child of U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident.
- Non-abusive parent of a child who was subjected to domestic violence or extreme cruelty by a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident parent.
Question: When can a self petitioner file an application for work authorization?
Answer: A self petitioner is eligible for employment authorization upon approval of the self petition or upon filing of adjustment of status whichever comes first.
Question: What are the advantages of adjustment of status under VAWA compared to the regular adjustment of status?
Answer: VAWA adjustment of status has the following advantages:
- VAWA self petitioner need not have been inspected or admitted into the U.S. This means that “Entered without Inspection” or “present without authorization” are eligible under VAWA.
- Having worked without authorization is not a bar to adjustment.
- Having overstayed a nonimmigrant visa or having violated the terms of nonimmigrant visa is not a bar to adjustment.
- Having been admitted as a nonimmigrant under “D” [crewmember], “C” [alien in transit without a visa], or “S” [government witness] does not disqualify self petitioner from adjustment of status. The regular adjustment of status provision does not allow them to adjust.
- Having been admitted under Visa Waiver program is not a bar to adjustment.
- Self petitioners do not have to pay the $1000 penalty if they adjust status under Sec. 245(i).
Note: This is not a legal advice. The Law Office of Crispin C. Lozano has successfully received approvals for many VAWA cases
- On December 6, 2018, we received an approval from Immigration Judge an adjustment of status for a client in removal proceedings.
- On December 26, 2018, we received an approval from USCIS of adjustment of status for a client after our response to Notice of Intent to Deny the case based on good faith marriage issues.
- On December 28, 2018, we received an approval of a naturalization from USCIS for a client who was granted a waiver of misrepresentation in Immigration Court.
- For the month of December 2018, we received approvals of I-751 for three clients.
- For the month of November 2018, we received approvals of two adjustment of status, one naturalization and one U visa petition.
- For the month of October 2018, we received five approvals of N-400 and one approval for adjustment of status, two approvals of I-601A waiver of unlawful presence and one I-751 Removal of Condition on Residence.
- On September 19, 2018, we received an approval of N-400 naturalization application and one Fiancée visa petition..
- For the month of August 2018, we received an approval of four Naturalization applications and five adjustment of status applications.
- On July 27, 2018, we received an approval for permanent resident for a client who was abused by her spouse under VAWA.
- For the months of May to June 2018, we have received four Naturalization applications approvals and two Adjustment of Status approvals
- On April 18, 2018, we received a grant of waiver from Immigration Court for a husband and wife client who made a misrepresentation of their marital status but has no criminal records, has long residence and strong family ties in the U.S.
- On April 12, 2018, the Immigration Judge in San Francisco approved a waiver of misrepresentation in applying for a visa for our client who has been in the U.S. for 26 years, no criminal record and strong family ties in the U.S.
- On April 3, 2018, we received an approval from USCIS for a U visa for a client who was a victim of crime.
If you have immigration problems the Law Offices of Crispin C. Lozano can help you find a solution before your problem gets worse which could lead to deportation and family separation.
Crispin Caday Lozano, Esq. is an active member of the State Bar of California, the American Immigration Lawyers Association and San Francisco Trial Lawyers. He practices immigration law, bankruptcy and personal injury law since June 1999. His contact phone is 1-877-456-9266, email: firstname.lastname@example.org