Carlos Batara – Immigration Lawyer header image

Violence Against Women Act Immigration Attorney

Even If You Have Been The Victim Of Domestic Violence . . .
We Can Help You Fight Deportation And Become A Permanent Resident

As a victim of abuse, you may feel trapped, forced to remain living with your U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse.

Due to your lack of immigration papers, you might think there is no way out.

The abuse takes many forms.

For instance:

  • Perhaps your permanent resident spouse physically beats you, doesn’t allow you to have any friends, and refuses to file immigration papers to petition you for a green card.
  • Maybe your U.S. citizen spouse divorced you yet continues to call you insulting names, won’t give you any child support, and threatens to call the police to deport you.
  • Or as the oldest child, you have watched your legalized parent physically attach your mother as well as verbally and emotionally mistreat you and your younger sister.

However severe the domestic violence you’ve experienced, you don’t need to give up.

With or without your spouse, there are options to help you and your children.

With or without your spouse, you can fight deportation.

With or without your spouse, you can become a lawful permanent resident.

What Is The Violence Against Women Act?

The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), passed by Congress in 1994, provides special protection for both immigrant spouses and children who have suffered battery or extreme cruelty at the hands of a United States citizen or lawful permanent resident.

Although victims of domestic violence are usually female, the Act also covers abused male spouses and children.

This means if your husband, wife, father, mother, stepfather, or stepmother, who is a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, has abused you or your child physically, sexually, or psychologically, you are entitled to file for permanent residence benefits under VAWA.

Winning Your VAWA Case Is Not Simple

Violence Against Women Act cases are a unique type of immigration family unity services.   You are allowed to file for immigration benefits without a family member to sponsor you.

Trying to do this on your own is a bad idea.  One mistake can ruin your chance for success.

Domestic violence is not easy to discuss.  But in order to win, you need to present your case with careful detail.  You cannot afford to hold back the truth.

Because your paperwork has to be accurately prepared – and your evidence strongly laid out – you need to find an attorney who makes you feel comfortable when you share painful moments you’d rather forget.

You need to find the right VAWA immigration lawyer for you.

VAWA Solutions For Immigrant Spouses And Children Trapped In A Web Of Abuse

If you’re a battered immigrant, you can seek benefits in three distinct ways.

  • Self-Petitions For VAWA Green Cards – You can file a special immigration VAWA self-petition, based on your family relationship, to obtain green card benefits on your own without your abuser’s consent
  • Immigration Court Deportation Defense – You can use special VAWA rules to fight against being deported or removed at immigration court hearings
  • Modify Conditional Residency Status – You can independently seek to remove the restrictions on your green card status, if your spouse abandons you before the two-year limit on your conditional permanent residency status expires.

In addition, if your self-petition is approved, you can obtain a work permit – while you’re still waiting for your VAWA interview to become a permanent resident.

Who Is Eligible To Self-Petition For VAWA?

Although VAWA stands for the Violence Against Women Act, its protection is not limited to immigrant women.

The following persons are eligible to file self-petitions under VAWA:

  • Abused or battered spouses of U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents.  This includes abused male spouses.
  • Spouses of U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents who are not abused, but whose children are abused.
  • Abused or battered male and female children of U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents.

While your VAWA application is being processed, you have the right to stay with or leave the abuser.  It’s your decision, and your decision alone.  Without pressure from your spouse or parent.

The whole process is completely confidential and private.  If you use the services of a VAWA immigration lawyer, the government will not contact you directly.  Your abusive spouse – or ex-spouse – will never be told about your VAWA petition.

Do You Qualify For A VAWA Green Card?

Many immigrant victims of domestic violence do not think they qualify for VAWA protections and benefits.

For instance, you may have been told only battered immigrant women cam win a VAWA grant of permanent residence.  This view is wrong.

Under VAWA, you can also win if you have been subject to extreme cruelty.

Some examples of extreme cruelty include:

Social Isolation

  • Limiting you from the use of the telephone
  • Making you dependent on the abuser for transportation
  • Preventing you from visiting or speaking with family members
  • Prohibiting from letting you work, go to school, or learn English

Economic Control

  • Controlling all the money, credit cards, and bank accounts
  • Not giving you any money to spend without permission
  • Keeping your name off bank accounts, rental agreements, and utility bills

Emotional Abuse

  • Calling you names and putting you down in front of other people
  • Making you feel guilty about the children when they act up
  • Opening and reading all your mail before giving it to you
  • Questioning the kids about what you did all day while the abuser was at work

If  you have been mistreated in these types of ways, you have a chance to win VAWA benefits.

Whether your VAWA case is reviewed by an immigration officer or an immigration judge, hiring an experienced immigration VAWA attorney is the best way to ensure you put together the right evidence to win.

Gain Your Freedom From Abuse

As a VAWA deportation trial attorney and a family-based green card lawyer, Carlos Batara has fought the spread of violence against immigrants by their spouses across Southern California.

Carlos’ legal experience includes handling difficult family law, divorce, and restraining order cases.  He has combined deportation defense protections under VAWA with protections under family law and criminal law provisions for many battered spouses and children.

Attorney Services To Help Immigrant Domestic Violence Victims

Riverside VAWA Attorney Services

Our Riverside and Hemet immigration law offices assist VAWA victims who live in or nearby Banning, Beaumont, Blythe, Calimesa, Canyon Lake, Cathedral City, Coachella, Corona, Desert Hot Springs, Hemet, Indian Wells, Idyllwild, Indio, La Quinta, Lake Elsinore, Mecca, Menifee, Moreno Valley, Murrieta, Norco, Palm Desert, Palm Springs, Perris, Riverside, Rancho Mirage, Romoland, San Jacinto, Temecula, and Wildomar.

San Diego VAWA Attorney Services

Our San Diego and Escondido offices help abused immigrant spouses and children from Cardiff-by-the-Sea, Carlsbad, Chula Vista, Coronado, Del Mar, El Cajon, Encinitas, Escondido, Fallbrook, Imperial Beach, La Mesa, Lemon Grove, National City, Oceanside, Poway, Ramona, Rancho Bernardo, San Diego, San Marcos, San Ysidro, Santee, Solana Beach, Spring Valley, and Vista.

San Bernardino VAWA Attorney Services

At the San Bernardino office, we guide VAWA applicants living in or close to Adelanto, Apple Valley, Barstow, Big Bear Lake, Chino, Chino Hills, Colton, Fontana, Grand Terrace, Hesperia, Highland, Joshua Tree, Loma Linda, Montclair, Needles, Ontario, Rancho Cucamonga, Redlands, Rialto, San Bernardino, Twenty Nine Palms, Upland, Victorville, Yucaipa, and Yucca Valley.


If you’ve been the victim of domestic violence, now or in the past, and you’re serious about discovering how to win permanent residence . . . 

Let’s schedule your Strategy And Planning Session today.


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