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Cancellation of Removal Under VAWA Protecting Your Interests in Immigration Issues

VAWA Lawyers in Orange County

Preventing Deportation through the Violence against Women Act

While immigration qualifications are generally stringent, the U.S. government has created multiple humanitarian programs to assist the most vulnerable members of worldwide communities. One such program is the set of provisions under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which provides certain immigration benefits to people who have endured battery or extreme cruelty.

What Is VAWA?

The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) allows certain victims of domestic violence to apply for a green card, even if they are going through removal/deportation proceedings.

Consult VAWA Lawyers at Yekrangi & Associates

If a family member has physically or emotionally abused you and you are currently facing deportation, you may be able to obtain a Cancellation of Removal under the VAWA. At Yekrangi & Associates, we are proud to serve survivors as they find safety and establish independence in the United States. We can help you evaluate your options and take full advantage of the protections offered by the VAWA.

Contact our VAWA attorneys in Orange County via online form or call (949) 478-4963 to get started on your case. Our services are available in English, Spanish, Farsi, and Mandarin.

Requirements for Relief Under the VAWA

Unfortunately, you have the burden of demonstrating circumstances that warrant your relief from deportation. Our team, however, is fully prepared to help you gather evidence and submit all necessary documentation. If we succeed, we can cancel your removal proceeding and you can then apply for a green card (permanent residency). Your children or parents may also qualify for this relief.

You may be eligible for relief from deportation if:

  • You have lived in the U.S. for the last 3 years (and did not leave for more than 90 days at a time or more than 180 days total);
  • In those 3 years, you demonstrated good moral character;
  • You are not inadmissible or deportable due to certain crimes or threats to national security (unless you successfully file a waiver);
  • Deportation would cause extreme hardship (e.g. inability to acquire medical treatment for health issues, inability to financially provide for a permanent resident or U.S. citizen, etc.); and
  • A family member subjected you to battery or extreme cruelty. This includes a U.S. citizen spouse, former spouse, parent, son or daughter; a lawful permanent spouse, former spouse, or a parent

The family member who abused you must have been your child, parent, spouse, or former spouse if they were a U.S. citizen, and your parent, spouse, or former spouse if they were a permanent resident.

How to Meet the Continuous Physical Presence Requirement

To meet the continuous physical presence requirement, look backward for 3 years from when you apply for cancellation. During those 3 years, you cannot have been gone from the United States for more than 90 days at one time. You must also not have been gone for more than 180 days total during the course of those 3 years.

However, if you can prove your conditions of abuse were the reason for your extended absence, you may have this requirement waived.

What Is Good Moral Character?

Because immigration and consular officers use their discretion to determine good moral character, there is no specific set of guidelines for this qualification. According to USCIS, they will consider the totality of your circumstances and weigh all factors together.

Relevant factors may include:

  • Law-abiding behavior
  • History of meeting financial obligations
  • Education/employment history
  • Family ties
  • Criminal history (or lack thereof)
  • Community involvement

If you have drinking or gambling problems, you have participated in prostitution, or you have multiple drug convictions or sentences of more than six months, you may not be able to demonstrate “good moral character.”

How to Prove Extreme Hardship

Extreme hardship can entail a variety of problems, but one example is if you or your children would not be able to receive medical treatment needed for health, special needs, or disabilities. Another example is if someone who must stay in the United States relies on you financially or as a caretaker.

What Does the DHS Consider Battery or Extreme Cruelty?

To qualify for relief under the VAWA, your experience must coincide with the Department of Homeland Security’s definition of battery or extreme cruelty, which involves an act or threat of violence, involuntary confinement, psychological abuse, sexual abuse or exploitation, or forced prostitution. Each act may not qualify individually as violence, but, together, the acts must demonstrate a general pattern of violence.

For more information, speak with a skilled Orange County cancellation of removal under VAWA lawyer at Yekrangi & Associates. Call (949) 478-4963 to make an appointment.

How to Petition for Cancellation of Removal

You must first face removal proceedings in immigration court. Typically, the judge should ask questions to see if you are eligible for VAWA Cancellation of Removal. If not, you can tell the judge you would like to apply for “VAWA Cancellation.” Either way, you should be given a copy of Form EOIR 42-B to fill out as the application for cancellation of removal.

Along with the form, you will need to show the judge evidence that you qualify for cancellation of removal. This evidence may include:

  • Proof of your identity
  • Proof of the abuse (in the form of police records, restraining orders, medical records, etc.)
  • Personal declaration of your experience
  • Proof of the abuser’s immigration status
  • Proof of your residency in the United States (this goes toward the continuous physical presence requirement)

It can sometimes be difficult to gather proof of the abuse, so courts will often accept declarations from family members, friends, or anyone else who may have witnessed the abuse or spoke with you about it. Furthermore, remember that abuse does not have to be physical—it can be emotional or psychological. If you have seen a psychologist or have been prescribed medication by a doctor related to these forms of abuse, you can use documentation of this treatment as evidence.

Once you have gathered all necessary evidence, be prepared to present it along with the completed EOIR 42-B during what is called a “Master Calendar” hearing.

Let Us Help You End Your Removal Proceeding

If you qualify for relief under VAWA, you will still need to appear before an immigration judge in court. At this hearing, you can obtain an application for cancellation of removal. We can accompany you to this hearing, help you fill out the application, and gather evidence to submit to the court.

We understand the level of stress and trauma you may have experienced. No matter what led you to seek our support, you can trust us to handle your case with care, compassion, and commitment to your wellbeing. You will be in good hands when you contact Yekrangi & Associates.

Call (949) 478-4963 to schedule your consultation with our VAWA lawyers in Orange County.

Hear From Our Happy Clients

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