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San Bernardino VAWA Lawyer

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Abusive situations involving domestic violence can be devastating, leading to long-term negative physical, mental, and financial consequences. When instances of domestic abuse are tied to your immigration status, the damage can be even more serious. If you are an immigrant facing domestic violence from an abuser who is sponsoring your family-based green card, a San Bernardino VAWA lawyer from U.S. Law Center can help you understand whether protections under VAWA are an option for you. At U.S. Law Center, our team of diligent and compassionate immigration lawyers has been working for years to advance the rights and protections of individuals in San Bernardino and surrounding areas, regardless of their immigration status.

We can work with you closely to listen to your story and help you understand your immigration options. If you are eligible for protections under VAWA, we can assist you in navigating the self-petition process while ensuring the rights, interests, and safety of your family are protected.

What Is a VAWA Self-Petition in San Bernardino, CA?

Under the Violence Against Women Act passed in 1994, immigrants who are authorized to live in the United States through a family-based green card can submit a self-petition if their sponsor is abusive in a domestic violence situation. Family-based green cards require a close family member, such as a spouse, parent, or child, who is a US citizen or lawful permanent resident to sponsor their family member. The applicant’s immigration application must go through this sponsor.

Unfortunately, domestic violence situations that exploit these power dynamics can arise. For instance, individuals who are married to their family-green card sponsors can face extreme abuse or battering while living with the abuser, with threats to their immigration status if they report the behavior.

Under VAWA, these victims can submit a Form I-360, petitioning for their own lawful permanent resident status without the knowledge or consent of their abuser. A compassionate and experienced VAWA lawyer can help you understand whether submitting a VAWA self-petition is a feasible option for you.

Do I Qualify for Riverside Protection Under VAWA?

Each case is different, and the varying complexities can influence whether an individual is eligible for self-petition under VAWA in San Bernardino. A dedicated and expired VAWA lawyer from U.S. Law Center can help you understand whether you meet the requirements, including:

  • Being married or recently divorced from the abuser. Parents and children of abusers can also qualify.
  • The abuser is a US citizen or lawful permanent resident. If your child is your abuser, they must be a citizen.
  • If the abuser is a spouse, the marriage was bona fide, meaning that you did not marry the abuser for immigration benefits, and it was done in good faith.
  • You are living with the abuser, or you were living with them.
  • They carried out acts of extreme cruelty or battering to you while you were living with them.

While many individuals may be eligible to submit a VAWA self-petition, they have to provide sufficient evidence to show that what they state in their application is true. Such supporting evidence includes police reports, witness testimony, medical reports, and evidence of restraining orders.

In some cases, USCIS may accept more informal evidence, such as logs of what happened and personal statements. A knowledgeable San Bernardino immigration attorney from U.S. Law Center can help you craft a strong and convincing application with supporting evidence.

Violence Against Women Act FAQs

Q: Does VAWA Grant Citizenship?

A: While individuals who have their VAWA applications accepted are not immediately granted US citizenship, they can pursue lawful permanent residency status. Lawful permanent residents can live and work in the United States with a green card that must be renewed every 10 years.

After having LPR status for a certain time period and meeting other specific criteria, they can go through the naturalization process to obtain citizenship. A VAWA lawyer can help you understand your path to citizenship after your self-petition has been accepted.

Q: Can I Get Deported During a VAWA Proceeding?

A: Submitting a VAWA self-petition does not automatically guarantee that the applicant cannot be deported during the application time period. However, there are certain steps that your immigration lawyer can take to protect your presence in the country, such as requesting a temporary stay based on your pending application.

It is critical to work with an experienced lawyer who can represent you during immigration proceedings on deportation defense while your VAWA application is pending.

Q: Can I Remarry While VAWA Is Pending?

A: While VAWA applicants may remarry after their application is approved, they should not remarry before their VAWA application has been approved. Marrying before getting an application approval would deem them ineligible to receive protection under VAWA. An experienced VAWA immigration lawyer can help you understand when remarriage could be appropriate in your case in order to avoid jeopardizing your application or your immigration status.

Q: Should I Apply for a T Visa or VAWA Self-Petition?

A: If you were forced to carry out sex labor or work in the United States, and the person trafficking you was your spouse or sponsoring family member, then understanding whether you should apply for a T Visa or VAWA self-petition is dependent on various factors. Depending on your case, it may be favorable to apply for a VAWA self-petition due to the ability to get a work permit while your application is pending and the shorter processing times.

Get Compassionate Legal Immigration Support from a San Bernardino VAWA Lawyer

Domestic violence in San Bernardino and surrounding areas can be devastating for the victims, but it is vital to understand that there are protections under the law for immigrants in certain abusive family arrangements.

When you work with a dedicated and skilled San Bernardino VAWA lawyer from U.S. Law Center, we can help you understand the details of your case, providing compassionate legal counsel and advice. If you are eligible for protections under VAWA, we can support you by submitting a detailed, convincing, and comprehensive application to optimize your chances of winning your case. Contact us today to get started.

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