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VAWA – IN OR OUT OF THE COURT HOUSE: What’s The Difference?

The Violence Against Women Act (“VAWA”) ,which is available to both men and women, provides immigration relief and Permanent Resident Status based on documented spousal abuse. The spouse must meet the Federal Regulations criteria for VAWA and file an application called an I-360.  The I-485 Adjust of Status is usually filed after the I-360 is approved.


If a client is approved for an I-360 and the client is in active removal proceedings in U.S. Immigration Court, what is the next step? How can a client in Removal Proceedings get Permanent Resident Status in the United States (i.e. a Green Card). Also, I heard visa numbers are limited in this category of Green Card so what should I do?


There is often confusion between a self petitioning VAWA and a VAWA for “Cancellation of Removal”. It is important to consult with experienced U.S. Immigration Counsel in order to be clear on the difference and how to proceed. For instance, there is no numerical limit on visa issuance when a self petitioning I-360 has been approved. Whereas in Cancellation of Removal VAWA there is an issue with a numerical cap in which experienced immigration attorney(s) should understand how to navigate.

An I-360 approval is an approved VAWA self-petition.  An individual can adjust status in court if in proceedings, or administratively before USCIS if proceedings are terminated. VAWA cancellation of removal is different and can only be applied for before an Immigration Judge in court.  Some individuals are eligible for both, while others are not.  As stated above, VAWA cancellation is subject to the 4000 per year cancellation cap.  However, that is never a reason for one’s immigration attorney to delay in applying for the benefit if eligible.

If you or someone you know is in need of a consultation on this immigration topic, or any other immigration matter, our attorneys may be contacted at info@scottcclaw.com or you may call us at one of our office telephone numbers conveniently listed at www.scottcclaw.com.


ScottMond Law Firm









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