Green Card for VAWA Self-Petitioner

By Atty. Chris Caday Lozano

What are the advantages of filing under VAWA?

Under the federal Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), you may be eligible to become a lawful permanent resident (get a Green Card) if you are the victim of battery or extreme cruelty committed by:

1. A U.S. citizen spouse or former spouse;

2. A U.S. citizen parent;

3. A U.S. citizen son or daughter;

4. A lawful permanent resident (LPR) spouse or former spouse; or

5. An LPR parent.


You may self-petition under VAWA by filing a Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant (Form I-360) without your abusive family member’s knowledge or consent. A person who files a VAWA self-petition is generally known as a VAWA self-petitioner. If your self-petition is approved and you meet other eligibility requirements, you may be eligible to apply to become a lawful permanent resident.

Who qualifies for VAWA adjustment of status?

Eligibility for Adjustment of Status


In order to be eligible for a Green Card as a VAWA self-petitioner, you must meet the following requirements:

You properly file Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status;

You are physically present in the United States at the time you file your Form I-485;

You are eligible to receive an immigrant visa;

An immigrant visa is immediately available to you at the time you file your Form I-485 and when USCIS makes a final decision on your application;

None of the bars to adjustment of status apply to you;

You are admissible to the United States for lawful permanent residence or eligible for a waiver of inadmissibility or other form of relief; and

You merit the favorable exercise of USCIS’ discretion.

Who are eligible to apply for an immigrant visa?

Eligible to Receive an Immigrant Visa:

You are eligible to receive an immigrant visa based on:

An approved VAWA self-petition (Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant);

A previously filed VAWA self-petition that remains pending (if ultimately approved); or

A VAWA self-petition (if ultimately approved) filed together with your Form I-485.

Note:  This is not a legal advice.  Our law firm has successfully obtained approvals of VAWA self petition since 2000.  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. 

Chris 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 income tax preparation since June 1999.  His contact phone is 1-877-456-9266, email: Website:

Toll Free 1-877-4LOZANO for free consultation or Schedule an Appointment