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Top 10 Reasons For A Denial Of A Vawa Application


If you are married to a U.S. citizen or U.S. permanent resident holder (“Green Card” holder) and you have been abused/battered, you can obtain immigration status (Green Card) by filing a Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) self-petition – regardless if you are a man or woman.

1. Common Reasons For Denial

  1. Submitting incorrect forms. The types of forms you will need depend on many factors, such as: whether you are/were married to your abuser, if you are in removal proceedings, your immigration status, if you have a pending adjustment of status case based on the marriage, and/or if you have children, etc.

  2. Submitting incorrect information. Many victims of abuse may not have access to information regarding their abuser. An experienced immigration attorney can help you find that information that you need to properly file your VAWA petition.

  3. Submitting the application to the wrong place. Most applications will require that the applicant file the application at a certain location depending on the immigration status of the abuser and the type of courier service used, etc.

  4. Missing the filing deadline. You may file a VAWA application while you are still married or TWO (2) years after your divorce. You may still be eligible if your spouse is deceased or if s/he lost his/her citizenship or lawful residence status (due to the domestic abuse).

  5. Submitting insufficient documents to establish relationship with abuser. USCIS requires proof of your relationship with the abuser. A personal consultation with an experienced attorney can help you determine what types of documents you should submit.

  6. Submitting insufficient documents to establish battery or extreme cruelty. USCIS requires proof of the battery or extreme cruelty. It is often more difficult to prove extreme cruelty. Examples of extreme cruelty can include: intimidation and degradation, economic and employment-related abuse (such as forced labor or unemployment), social isolation, sexual abuse, immigration-related abuse, and possessiveness and harassment.

  7. Failing to prove other VAWA requirements. Not only must you establish your relationship with the abuser and the type of abuse suffered, you must also prove that the abuser is a U.S. citizen or Green Card holder, you were in the U.S. when the battery or extreme cruelty occurred, the extent/gravity of the abuse, and that you are a person of good moral character.

  8. Hiring a non-attorney or unqualified attorney. Before you hire an attorney, we recommend that you meet with the attorney and read his/her online client testimonials. Afterward, ask yourself these questions: Is the attorney licensed and eligible to practice law? How easy was it to speak directly with the attorney? How long has the attorney been in business? Does the attorney have experience handling these types of cases?

  9. Missing appointments and deadlines. If you file the application yourself, USCIS will only send notifications to you. However, if you hire an attorney, your attorney will be notified as well. An experienced immigration attorney will notify you of changes related to your application. This will help you avoid missing important notices and/or deadlines.

  10. Not being prepared for the marriage interview. It is important to prepare for the VAWA interview. An experienced immigration attorney can provide you with sample interview questions and a list of additional documents that you should bring to the interview.

2. Experience Matters

The Law Office of David Nguyen, PC has successfully handled hundreds of immigration petitions and/or applications – and can assist you with your immigration needs.

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