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What Evidence is Required for a VAWA Self-Petition?

The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) allows abused spouses, children, or parents to self-petition for legal status in the U.S. Below, our immigration attorney highlights the evidence needed for a successful VAWA self-petition.

Who Can Self-Petition?

You can self-petition if:

  • You are subject to battery or extreme cruelty.
  • You are abused by a spouse, parent, or child.
  • Your abuser is a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, or your abusive child is a U.S. citizen over 21.
  • You currently live or did live with your abuser in the U.S.
  • You have good moral character.

Proving Citizenship of the Abuser

To qualify, you must show that your abuser is a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident. Acceptable evidence includes:

  • Birth certificates
  • Unexpired passport
  • Certificate of Naturalization
  • Permanent Resident Card

Proving Relationship

You must establish your relationship with the abuser:

  1. Spouse: Proof of legal marriage (marriage certificate, wedding photos, affidavits).
  2. Child: Proof of being their child (birth records, paternity decree, custody support order).
  3. Parent: Proof of your relationship to an abusive child (birth certificates, court orders).

Proof of Battery or Extreme Cruelty

You need evidence of violence or extreme cruelty, such as:

  • Court records
  • Police reports
  • Affidavits from medical providers
  • Medical records
  • Social worker reports and affidavits
  • Protection orders
  • Photos of injuries
  • Other credible evidence

Residence with Abuser

You must prove you lived (or once lived) with your abuser in the U.S. Evidence includes:

  1. Leases or rental agreements with both names
  2. Utility bills with a common address
  3. Bank statements
  4. Income tax forms
  5. Affidavits from friends and family

Proof of Good Moral Character

USCIS reviews the three years before your application to assess moral character. Criminal convictions and false statements could be disqualifying. Self-petitioners should provide:

  1. Detailed affidavits discussing any criminal activity
  2. Background checks or clearances
  3. Affidavits from responsible individuals, like employers

Contact Vanderwall Immigration for Help

We have assisted many people with VAWA self-petitions and can help you too. Contact us to schedule a consultation. Si hablamos Español.