VAWA Success After Initial Adjustment of Status Denial!
June 3, 2024

Table of ContenTS

The Law Offices of Sabrina Li successfully assisted a client who was facing deportation due to past misrepresentation on her tourist visa application. The client was able to overcome significant legal obstacles and secure her VAWA (Violence Against Women Act) approval, allowing her to remain in the United States safely with her child. We would like to share her story.

Marital Abuse After I-130 Approval

The client visited our office after being placed in removal proceedings, despite having an approved I-130. Her marriage to her petitioning husband was deteriorating, and she wanted to explore her options. After a consultation with one of our experienced attorneys, it was discovered that the client was being psychologically, verbally, and physically abused by her spouse. Our team realized that the client could qualify for benefits under the Violence Against Women Act ("VAWA").

Complicated Immigration History

The client had previously filed a green card application through her husband, which was denied due to problems with her prior tourist visa application. In her prior tourist visa application, the client stated she was still married to her ex-husband when she had already divorced him. In her I-485 denial, USCIS found she had made a willful misrepresentation of a material fact about her marital status on her tourist visa application. Therefore, she was found inadmissible to the United States under INA 212(a)(6)(C)(i) for fraud or willful misrepresentation. She did not apply for a waiver for the inadmissibility; therefore, her green card application was denied. Following the denial, USCIS also issued a Notice to Appear, and she was then placed in removal proceedings.

Then her marriage was falling apart. The client was afraid she might face the danger of being deported since she and her husband were already in the process of getting a divorce.

Legal Action with Purpose: Fighting for the VAWA Approval

We worked closely with the client to prepare and file her I-360 petition with USCIS. This process involved meticulous documentation and constant communication to ensure all necessary evidence was included. We submitted strong evidence of the legitimacy of her marriage, a detailed statement by our client detailing the horrible abuse she suffered, and a police report we helped her obtain as evidence of the abuse. We also included evidence of her good moral character to assist in a discretionary grant of VAWA benefits despite our client’s prior misrepresentation on her tourist visa application.

Throughout the three years of waiting for a decision, we provided continuous support and updates to the client, reassuring her and addressing any concerns she had.

After three years of diligent effort and unwavering patience, we were thrilled to inform our client that her VAWA application was approved. This approval marked the end of a long and challenging journey, allowing her to move forward with her life in safety and security.

Benefits for Abused Family Members

The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) application provides crucial benefits for abused spouses, children, and parents of U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents (LPRs). Key benefits include:

  • Self-Petitioning: Victims can file for immigrant classification independently without the abuser's knowledge or consent, empowering them to seek safety.
  • Confidentiality: The application process is confidential, ensuring the abuser is not informed, and protecting the victim's privacy and safety.
  • Fee Exemptions: There are no fees for filing a VAWA self-petition (Form I-360), offering financial relief to victims.
  • Employment Authorization: Applicants can apply for employment authorization, enabling them to work legally in the U.S.
  • Deferred Action: Victims may be eligible for deferred action, providing temporary relief from deportation.

To be eligible for immigration benefits 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

Expert Legal Support for VAWA Cases by Women, for Women

Sabrina Li, our founding attorney, is certified by the State Bar of California as a specialist in immigration and nationality law. Alongside her excellent team of legal professionals, they have extensive experience with VAWA cases.

The Law Offices of Sabrina Li is a woman-owned business, and as a female lawyer, Sabrina believes in the power of women helping women. Our team is dedicated to supporting women facing challenging situations, providing compassionate and expert legal guidance to ensure their safety and well-being.

If you or someone you know is facing a similar situation and requires the expertise of skilled professionals, look no further than the Law Offices of Sabrina Li. Contact us today at (213) 375-8096 or email us at We are fully committed to providing the assistance you need, so please don't hesitate to reach out. We're here for you.

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