VAWA: All Your Questions Answered  

Spouses, children, and parents of U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, or green card holders who are victims of domestic violence can apply for immigration relief under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) even if they do not live in the same home as their abuser. A person who meets the requirements for VAWA may submit what is known as a “self-petition.” 

What Are the Definitions of Abuse?  

VAWA defines abuse broadly. One of the most obvious indicators of abuse is the use of physical force, such as striking or hitting. If you were a victim of other types of abuse, such as emotional abuse, intimidation, threatening behavior, harassment, or sexual assault, you may be eligible to file a petition with the VAWA. 

Whether you are currently a victim of assault, you should speak with a lawyer to see whether you qualify under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).  

What Forms Do I Need?  

To file an I-360 petition, you must fill out many forms. These documents contain Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant, affidavits, and a $535 filing fee. Make sure to include all necessary information in your application and correctly complete all forms. 

Can My VAWA Petition Be Denied?  

Without sufficient evidence of physical violence, severe cruelty, or substantial suffering from other types of abuse, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) may reject your petition. Even though it is never certain that any petition will be granted, no matter how well-documented an individual case seems to be, having professional assistance throughout the process may significantly increase the chances of acceptance.  

Can a Man File a VAWA Petition?  

VAWA does indeed provide the right to petition any victim of domestic abuse who is a spouse, child, or parent of a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, irrespective of gender. This might mean that men can also file for VAWA if they are victims of domestic abuse at the hands of a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in a qualifying relationship (spouse, child, or parent), just as women can.  

How Does USCIS Investigate VAWA?  

The paperwork and evidence submitted by the petitioner play a crucial role in USCIS’s evaluation of a petition. These documents are necessary to prove the veracity of the marriage and relationship, as well as the truthfulness of the accusations of cruelty and violence. Any compelling evidence will be considered by USCIS in a VAWA case.  

Is There an Interview for VAWA?  

Are you compelled by the Immigration Department to discuss the mistreatment during your interview? An interview with the Immigration Department is not necessary to get a VAWA visa. Witnesses are neither necessary nor permitted to speak with the person for whom the VAWA visa is issued.  

How Fast Is VAWA Approved?  

The complexity of the case, the volume of applications, and the present workload of the USCIS are some of the factors that affect how long it takes to process VAWA self-petitions. The time it takes for USCIS to complete a VAWA self-petition might vary from twenty-four to thirty-six months.  

How Long Does It Take to Get a Green Card After VAWA?  

If everything goes as planned and your VAWA and adjustment of status applications are approved, it is expected that your green card will be issued around five years from the date of filing.   

How Can I Speed Up My VAWA Process? 

In most circumstances, there is no way to make the operation go faster. Under exceptionally particular situations, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) may expedite a request on a case-by-case basis; nevertheless, the applicant must submit a request for accelerated processing. 

What Is the Next Step After VAWA Is Approved? 

Following the acceptance of your VAWA petition, you will be able to continue the process by completing and submitting Form I-485, an application to register permanent residence or alter your current status. Additionally, you must provide supporting documentation for this form. After you accept Form I-485, you will receive a green card, which is required for lawful permanent residence. 

Is It Hard to Get Approved for VAWA? 

The journey to VAWA success is long. It may take up to five years from the time you submit your initial application until you get your green card. You need to keep your moral compass sharp while you’re through this. If you commit crimes within this period, it may harm your case. 


After reading this, your understanding of VAWA (the Violence Against Women Act) will be much stronger. VAWA allows a spouse or child of an abusive U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident to apply for a green card independently. Under VAWA, a person may apply for a green card even if they are the victim of domestic or familial abuse.