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.
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 to get started on your case today.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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