12 Dec Benefits of self-petition for green card based on spousal abuse
By Atty. Crispin Caday Lozano
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. If the petitioner is in removal proceedings, she has a choice of filing I-360 petition or cancellation of removal under VAWA. There is strong confidentiality given to self petitioner under VAWA including keeping their name out of public records and not contacting the abuser.
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 Offices of Crispin C. Lozano has successfully represented numerous cases of spousal abuse.
- 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.
- For the month ending March 31, 2018, we received approvals for four naturalization applications.
- For the week ending March 31, 2018, we received approvals of six Adjustment of Status, two Application to Remove Condition on Residence and two Renewal of Green Card approvals.
- On March 9, 2018, we received an approval from USCIS for adjustment of status for a client who was abused by her spouse. The I-601 waiver was approved based on extreme hardship.
- On February 15, 2018, we received a grant from Immigration Judge for a waiver of misrepresentation for a client who has been in the U.S. for long period of time.
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. His contact phone is 1-877-456-9266, email: firstname.lastname@example.org