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Violence Against Women Act

The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) allows individuals (both men and women) to apply for lawful permanent residence (Green Card) in the United States when they have been victims of extreme cruelty or abuse by:

  • A spouse or former spouse who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • A parent who is a US citizen or permanent resident
  • A son or daughter who is a U.S. citizen

The abused person can file a petition on their own without the involvement of the abuser. This allows victims to seek safety and independence from their abuser.

This VAWA protection law applies equally to men and women, and provides permanent relief because if the self-petition is approved, the person can apply for work authorization and adjustment of status in order to obtain permanent legal residency.

Information of interest

Learn more about VAWA


Are you married to an American citizen or legal permanent resident and were you a victim of domestic violence or abuse? You can get VAWA benefits. In this video, attorney Paola Chavarro explains the process.

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