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Alameda County Family Justice Center

Justice is not served
until crime victims are.

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DISCLAIMER: This information is meant to provide general information about domestic violence and immigration relief. Please consult with an attorney or other legal agency for more details about any legal questions you have about your immigration issues.

Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). As a battered immigrant or refugee woman, you may be able to petition for yourself through VAWA. Filing a successful VAWA self-petition can give you the following:

  • gain access to public benefits after about 3 to 5 months;
  • obtain a work permit afterr about 3 to 12 months;
  • give you the right to a permanent residence (a green card) after 1.5 to 6 years, for you and your children

Eligibility for VAWA:

  • Your spouse is a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident
  • You are currently legally married to your spouse, or divorced not more than 2 years ago
  • You married your spouse in good faith (not for the sole purpose of getting a green card)
  • Your spouse abused you, or your child
  • You have resided with your spouse for some time, in the U.S. or in another country
  • You live in the U.S. right now
  • You have good moral character

Please contact an immigration law specialists to help you prepare to file for a VAWA self-petition.

VAWA Process Flow Chart-English

VAWA Process Flow Chart-Spanish