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Domestic Violence / 12.13.2023

Empowering Survivors: Understanding VAWA Petitions

The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) is important legislation that recognizes the plight of victims of domestic violence and abuse, offering protection and a pathway to legal status for survivors. At The Law Office of Jesse Sanchez, we understand the importance of VAWA petitions and how they can provide a lifeline to those who have suffered abuse. If you have been the victim of abuse and think you might qualify for VAWA, we are here to help!

Understanding VAWA

The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) is a federal law that provides protections and immigration benefits to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, and other forms of abuse. VAWA is not limited to women; it is available to all individuals who have been victims of abuse by a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse, parent, or child.

Key Aspects of VAWA:

Independent Path to Legal Status: VAWA allows victims to petition for legal status in the United States without the help of their abuser.

Protection from Deportation: VAWA applicants are protected from deportation while their petition is pending.

Work Authorization: VAWA petitioners can apply for employment authorization, enabling people to support themselves and their families.

Eligibility for VAWA

To be eligible for a VAWA petition, a person must meet specific criteria:

Relationship Requirement: The petitioner must have a qualifying relationship with a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident abuser, such as a spouse, parent, or child.

Abuse Requirement: The petitioner must demonstrate they have been subjected to physical or emotional abuse by the abuser, including domestic violence, sexual assault, or other forms of abuse.

Good Moral Character: VAWA applicants must demonstrate good moral character.

Presence in the U.S.: The petitioner must be physically present in the United States.


The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) is a powerful tool that empowers survivors of domestic violence and abuse to break free from their abusers and pursue a path to legal status and security. Victims of abuse do not have to feel trapped in a situation because of immigration status.  If you believe you qualify for VAWA protection, seeking the assistance of an immigration attorney is very important. An experienced attorney can guide you through the application process, provide legal advice, and support you in your journey towards independence and a brighter future for yourself and your loved ones. The attorneys at The Law Office of Jesse Sanchez will stand with you and support you through the VAWA process, we are here to help!

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