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What Can I Do If My Abusive Family Member Won’t Petition for Me to Get a Visa?

If you are being abused by a family member who is a US citizen or resident, and that person is unwilling to help you get an immigration visa, you may be able to petition for yourself, also known as a self-petition.

The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) is a section of immigration law that that is meant to help victims of abuse, whether they are men or women. Under VAWA, certain family members of US citizens and residents do not have to rely on their abusive family member to receive a US immigration visa. A knowledgeable immigration attorney can help you through the VAWA immigration process.

The first step in the process is to file for a Violence Against Women Act immigration petition. In this petition, you must prove the relationship you have to your family member, that your family member is a citizen or resident of the United States, and that your family member is or has been abusive to you. You also have to prove that you have resided with your family member in the past. There is a specific self-petition application that you must complete along with supporting documentation of the abuse you have endured.

Once the VAWA immigration petition is approved, then you can file to change your status to a resident of the United States. This application is called adjustment of status. With this application, you must provide all of your biographic information and prove that you deserve to obtain an immigrant visa based on discretion.

Once the immigration service has reviewed your adjustment of status application, you could be called into an interview with an immigration officer. The officer will ask you questions about your application and review your supporting documentation. If your case is approved, you will be granted a green card also known as permanent resident card.

Because of the nature of VAWA cases, the application process is very sensitive. The immigration service does not contact your abusive relative or cause you to be put in any additional danger because of your application for an immigrant visa. Due to the delicate nature of these proceedings, it is wise to hire a knowledgeable immigration attorney to assist you in the VAWA immigration application process.

The immigration attorneys at Vanderwall Immigration have many years of experience with visa applications, including VAWA immigration petitions. Contact an expert attorney today at (503) 206-8414. Let us help you gain lawful status in the United States.