If you are a survivor of domestic violence and are currently living in the United States as an immigrant, you may be eligible for relief under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).
VAWA provides a pathway to lawful permanent residency for survivors who have been subjected to abuse by a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse, parent, or child.
Leaving an abusive relationship can be difficult, but it is an essential step in reclaiming your life and creating a better future for yourself and your family.
This guide will provide you with important information about VAWA immigration cases and what you can expect when working with an attorney at Dalal & Mehta, your New Jersey immigration firm.
5 things you should know for VAWA approval
To have your VAWA case approved, there are several things you should keep in mind:
- Time spent living together is not important: You do not need to prove that you lived with your abuser for any specific amount of time to be eligible for VAWA relief.
- Divorce is not a sign of weakness: You do not need to be currently married to your abuser to be eligible for VAWA relief. You may have divorced your abuser and still be eligible.
- Abuse isn’t just physical: VAWA recognizes that abuse can take many forms, including emotional, psychological, and financial abuse.
- Honesty with your attorney is important: It’s essential to be truthful with your attorney about your experiences with abuse and your immigration status to help build a strong case.
- Don’t fear the interview with your immigration officer: This interview is a crucial step in the VAWA application process, and your attorney will help you prepare for it.
What resources do I have for independent living?
Leaving an abusive relationship can be overwhelming, but there are resources available to help you live independently. Some of these resources include:
- Call and speak with employment agencies: They may be able to help you find a job or training program that can lead to a steady income.
- New Jersey maintenance support: If you have children, you may be eligible for child support payments to help cover expenses.
- Finding safe shelter: There are many organizations in New Jersey that offer safe shelter and support services to survivors of domestic violence.
- What if I don’t have a work permit?: Your attorney can help you determine if you are eligible for a work permit and assist you in obtaining one.
- Things will be tough at first, but it will be worth it: Leaving an abusive relationship can be difficult, but it is an essential step in reclaiming your life and creating a better future for yourself and your family.
What if I don’t have proof of abuse?
Not having proof of abuse can make it challenging to obtain VAWA relief, but there is still hope. Here are some things to consider:
- No attorney can guarantee approval, but there’s still hope: Even if you don’t have substantial evidence of abuse, your attorney can help you build a strong case based on other factors, such as witness statements or medical records.
- What’s the cost of waiting until you have solid proof?: Waiting to file your VAWA case until you have solid proof of abuse can be risky. Your abuser may become aware of your intentions and make it more challenging for you to obtain the evidence you need.
- Our firm will help you build a winning case: At Dalal & Mehta, we have experience working with survivors of domestic violence and will help you build a compelling case based on the evidence available.
What if I don’t have money?
Money should not stop you from seeking the help you need to live a safe and independent life. Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Most people in your position think the same: Many survivors of domestic violence are in a similar financial situation. Your attorney can help you explore options for free or low-cost legal services and connect you with community resources.
- We’re here to help you get back on your feet: Our firm understands the financial strain that can come with leaving an abusive relationship. We offer flexible payment plans and will work with you to find a solution that fits your budget.
- Money shouldn’t stop you from reclaiming your life: Remember that obtaining VAWA relief can provide you with a pathway to a better life, free from abuse and fear.
Will I have to return to my home country?
If you have legal entry to the United States, you are eligible for VAWA relief, and you do not have to return to your home country. Here are some things to keep in mind:
- USCIS is not your enemy: The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is responsible for processing VAWA applications, and they are not your enemy. They understand the complex nature of domestic violence and will treat your case with sensitivity and respect.
- Be genuine and honest: When working with your attorney and USCIS, it’s important to be genuine and honest about your experiences with abuse and your immigration status. Providing accurate information will help strengthen your case and increase the likelihood of a positive outcome.
VAWA: From fear to freedom
Obtaining VAWA relief can be a complicated process, but with the help of a skilled immigration attorney in New Jersey, you can increase your chances of success.
Obtaining VAWA relief can provide you with a pathway to a better life, free from abuse and fear.
At Dalal & Mehta, we have experience working with survivors of domestic violence and will provide you with the support and guidance you need to navigate the VAWA application process.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation and take the first step toward reclaiming your life.