VAWA Misconceptions: 7 Reasons You Might Qualify!

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Video Description

In this video we discuss 7 VAWA misconceptions that often prevent immigrants from applying through USCIS. Successfully filing for VAWA not only gets you a green card, but also deferred action, travel permission, and can even help you adjust your status when you have a permanent bar! The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) is designed to help immigrant men and women who have experienced physical abuse or extreme cruelty from their US Citizen or Legal Permanent Resident spouse, parent, or child to self petition for a green card and take control of their lives. Watch the video to learn more and find out if you might qualify!

  • 0:00 VAWA Misconceptions
  • 1:54 Reason One: VAWA Helps Men & Women
  • 2:37 Reason Two: Extreme Cruelty
  • 3:48 Reason Three: Police Report
  • 4:55 Reason Four: Married Or Divorced
  • 5:30 Reason Five: Danger To Your Spouse
  • 6:17 Reason Six: Adult US Citizen Child
  • 6:40 Reason Seven: The Permanent Bar

☎️ To book a case evaluation, call Moumita's office at (212) 248-7907 or visit her website HERE.

☎️ Para agendar una evaluación de su caso, llame a la oficina de Moumita al (212) 248-7907 o visite su sitio web AQUÍ

Video Transcript

A lot of immigrants don’t think they qualify for a VAWA green card, when they actually do!

And successfully filing for VAWA not only gets you a green card, but also gets you a work permit, deferred action, and travel permission while your application is being processed!

So today I want to share with you the most common misconceptions about VAWA and 7 reasons why you might actually qualify for it.

The Violence Against Women Act, or VAWA, allows men and women who have experienced physical abuse or extreme cruelty from their US Citizen or Legal Permanent Resident spouse, parent, or child to self petition for a green card and take control of their lives without their abusive family member knowing or being involved.

My name is Moumita Rahman, I am an immigration attorney based in New York who specializes in VAWA cases, and I work with clients in all 50 states.

If you’d like me to take a look at your VAWA case, you can call my office to schedule a consultation at (212)-248-7907.

I often talk with people who don’t think they qualify for VAWA because they’ve been given bad advice—often from other immigration attorneys. 

This can be things like: “You need to get a divorce in order to apply,” or “You must have a police report documenting the abuse”—both of which are NOT true. 

So let’s take a look at the seven reasons why you might actually qualify for VAWA, including how it could even help you overcome a permanent bar!

Reason #1: VAWA helps both men and women 

The Violence Against Women Act doesn’t just protect abused women—it also protects abused men! 

Unfortunately, many men will stay in abusive relationships without applying for VAWA simply because of its name or because they have been told it’s only for women.

So if you are a man experiencing physical abuse or extreme cruelty, remember that you have just as much of a right to file under VAWA as women do, and that the law is designed to protect you!

Reason #2: VAWA also covers extreme cruelty

A common misconception is that you must have suffered physical violence at the hands of your spouse, parent, or child in order to qualify for VAWA, but that is simply not true. 

The law is written to protect immigrants who have suffered physical battery OR extreme cruelty. And while the definition of extreme cruelty is left intentionally vague, you can think of it as emotional abuse. 

This includes things like:

  • Bullying or constant verbal attacks 
  • Threats, perhaps to take away your children or to have you deported;
  • Controlling where you go and who you see;
  • Not helping you fix your status so you are dependant on them;
  • Or controlling money;

You shouldn’t be subjected to any of this treatment, and if you have then you might qualify for VAWA. 

Reason #3: You don’t need a police report

It’s a common myth that you need a police report or affidavits from witnesses in order to prove your abuse. While police reports and statements from other people can help, they are NOT required in order to prove abuse in a VAWA case. 

We often tell our clients that “you are your best evidence,” because it’s possible to prove your case exclusively through your own testimony. 

Two of the ways you can do so are by:

  • Getting an assessment from a licensed professional who specializes in working with victims of abuse, 
  • And working with your immigration attorney to write out a detailed personal declaration documenting your abuse. 

We have helped many people successfully win their VAWA case using only these two pieces of evidence for proof, and can do the same for you!

Reason #4: You can be married or divorced

Many immigrants think that if they file for VAWA then they must divorce their spouse, but that actually isn’t necessary. You can apply for VAWA whether you stay married, have separated, or got a divorce within the last two years. 

Whichever choice you make, VAWA will help you get a green card so you no longer have to live under their control just because of your status!

Reason #5: Your spouse won’t get in trouble 

Some people know they qualify for VAWA but still don’t want to apply because they’re concerned it will hurt their spouse. You might worry it will go on their record or they will get in trouble with the police, but you can rest assured that nothing will happen to them.

There is a huge emphasis on privacy built into the VAWA process in order to protect you, so the government will not contact your spouse or ask them any questions. It’s completely confidential. In fact, your spouse may never even know you filed for VAWA so long as you don’t tell them! 

Reason #6: Your abuser can be a parent or a child

Most VAWA cases are filed by spouses of US Citizens or Lawful Permanent Residents, but the program also protects immigrants who have suffered battery or extreme cruelty by a parent or adult child over the age of 21. 

Reason #7: You can apply for VAWA even with a  permanent bar

I will often hear people say that they don’t qualify for VAWA because they have a permanent bar. In my opinion, a permanent bar is one of the worst parts of our immigration system, and there are very few tools we have for people who receive one.

But VAWA can be a tool to overcome your permanent bar so long as you can show that it is related to the abuse you suffered. 

If you have questions or think you might qualify for VAWA, please call my office at 212-248-7907 to schedule a consultation. We have helped hundreds of people just like you successfully file their VAWA petitions and take back control of their lives!

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