Woman Victims Of Crime

Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Immigration Lawyers in Phoenix, AZ

Seeking permanent residency, under any circumstances, can be stressful – doing so under VAWA can be even more so.

Our immigration specialists have seen it all so we know exactly how to handle these delicate circumstances. Our humanitarian approach is perfect for aiding in situations such as yours because our main goal, always, is to improve the lives of others.

If you wish to seek permanent residency under VAWA, please contact the compassionate attorneys at Nuñez & Associates so we can guide you through the process and help you get your life back on track.


Violence Against Women Act

VAWA is an acronym for the Violence Against Women Act, a law passed by Congress in 1994 that affords non-US citizens lawful status in certain circumstances. The law is significant, because victims of abuse or assault by a spouse or relative who is a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident do not need the abuser to sponsor their petition for permanent residency. Numerous cases have been reported of perpetrators of abuse using the immigration process to assert and maintain control over the victims by threatening to withhold sponsorship, which prompted Congressional action.

Domestic abuse includes physical violence or sexual assault. It also refers to extreme emotional abuse or threats of violence that can instill a profound fear of imminent physical violence if the victim does not agree or submit to control by the abuser.

The applicable form is I-485, adjustment of status.


VAWA has three forms of relief that an abused spouse or relative may use:

I. Self-Petition

A victim may self-petition for lawful status if the abuser is one of the following:

  • A U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse
  • A U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse who has abused the victim’s child
  • A parent or stepparent who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • An adult son or daughter of a U.S. citizen

II. Battered Spouse or Child Waiver

This waiver applies to battered spouses who have conditional legal permanent residency (for marriages of less than two years). Children of U.S. citizens or permanent residents who have been abused may also seek relief under this form.

III. Cancellation of Removal

This form of relief is available for those immigrants already in removal proceedings who can demonstrate that their U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse abused them. It is also applicable to those whose children were abused by the spouse. Cancellation of removal can be a difficult procedure that requires the skills of a highly experienced immigration lawyer who can request cancellation of removal proceedings under these circumstances.

Battered victims who are not married may be eligible for other forms of relief. For an assessment of your situation, consult an immigration attorney. Contact our office today.