Under the federal Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), you may be eligible to become a lawful permanent resident (get a Green Card) if you are the victim of battery or extreme cruelty committed by:
If you are the victim of assault or extreme cruelty committed by –
- A U.S. citizen spouse or former spouse;
- A U.S. citizen parent;
- A U.S. citizen son or daughter;
- A lawful permanent resident (LPR) spouse or former spouse; or
- An LPR parent.
You may be eligible to become a lawful permanent resident (obtain a Green Card) under the federal Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).
If you are currently residing in the United States and meet certain other criteria (such as having an immigrant visa available immediately), you can apply for a Green Card without leaving the country by submitting Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. To be eligible for a Green Card, you must have an approved Form I-360. However, if a visa is immediately available to you, you will not have to wait until your Form I-360 is approved to file Form I-485. If you are a VAWA self-petitioner seeking to adjust Status as an immediate relative, you may file Form I-485 at any time. This is because visas are always immediately available for immediate relatives. However, if you are a VAWA self-petitioner seeking to adjust under a family-based preference category, you may need to wait for a visa to become available. If a visa is immediately available, you may file your Form I-485:
- Concurrently with your Form I-360;
- While your Form I-360 is pending; or
- After your Form I-360 is approved (and remains valid).
If you already have a pending Form I-485 based on an approved Form I-130, Petition for the foreign relative that the abusive family member filed for you, you may request to convert your Form I-485 so that it is based on your VAWA self-petition. You must intimate the USCIS field office adjudicating the pending Form I-485 that you have filed or will submit a VAWA self-petition within 30 days to make this request. You should also provide a secure address to the USCIS field office where they can send all future correspondence to you. If you are unable to submit evidence of a filed VAWA self-petition within 30 days of requesting to convert your Form I-485, USCIS may make a decision on your pending application based on the original Form I-130 filed by the abusive family member. Otherwise, if USCIS approves your VAWA self-petition, your application to adjust Status will be based on the VAWA self-petition instead of the original Form I-130.