Finding Relief in VAWA Petition Approval: A Story of an Abused LGBT Spouse
August 30, 2023

Table of ContenTS

Today we share another successful case by the team at the Law Offices of Sabrina Li.

Our client came to our office after her marriage to her U.S. citizen wife became abusive. She had already submitted a marriage-based green card application. However, after filing the marriage-based green card application, the U.S. citizen wife became physically, psychologically, and mentally abusive. The U.S. citizen wife even attempted suicide to try to force our client to remain in the abusive marriage.

The Law Offices of Sabrina Li were able to see the signs of abuse and advised our client to file an application based on the abuse she suffered from her spouse under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).

Of note, our client was also in removal proceedings, so qualified for special rule Cancellation of Removal.

To be eligible for special rule cancellation of removal due to abuse, an applicant must establish the following:

  • They are currently in removal proceedings
  • They are the spouse or child of a U.S. citizen or LPR, or parent of a child whose other parent is a United States citizen or LPR
  • They or their child was subjected to battery of extreme cruelty
  • Their removal would be subject to extreme hardship
  • They have resided in the United States for three years prior to the issuance of a Notice to Appear (NTA)
  • They are a person of good moral character who merits discretion  
  • They are not subject to certain grounds of inadmissibility or removability

However, our knowledgeable firm knew there were fewer requirements for a VAWA application and recommended that she file for VAWA, which could also lead to relief from removal.

To be eligible under VAWA, an applicant must establish:

  • They are the spouse or child of a U.S. citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) or parent of a United States citizen;
  • They were subjected to battery or extreme cruelty;
  • They have resided with the abusive individual;
  • They are a person of good moral character.

Our experience with both VAWA and with members of the LGBTQ+ community allowed our office to best assist our client in gathering sufficient evidence, even assisting the client in obtaining police records to prove her good moral character and the abuse she suffered. Thanks to our joint efforts, the client obtained approval for her I-360 (VAWA) petition. Now she would be able to get her permanent status based on this approved I-360.

If you, or somebody you know, has been a victim of domestic violence or extreme cruelty, regardless of your gender or sexual orientation, and you need immediate assistance, our offices are here to help!

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