VAWA Petitions for Parents

The following guide is intended for applicants seeking protection under the Violence Against Women Act.


The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) allows spouses and children of United States citizens or lawful permanent residents to self-petition for permanent resident status, without the abuser’s help or knowledge.


To self-petition for permanent residency under VAWA, an individual must: Show that s/he lived with a United States citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse; Show that s/he was battered or subjected to extreme cruelty during the marriage; Show that s/he entered the marriage in good faith; o Show s/he is otherwise qualified for admission; and Show that s/he has good moral character.


You must file USCIS Form I-360 and all supporting documents and fees, including evidence of your good faith marriage to your USC or LPR spouse, evidence of the abuse you suffered, proof that you resided with your spouse, and evidence of your good character.

Eligibility for Parents

If you have a qualifying parent/son or daughter relationship, you can also apply for VAWA relief with proof of the following: You are the parent of a U.S. citizen son or daughter who is at least 21 years of age when the self-petition is filed, or you are the parent of a U.S. citizen son or daughter who lost or renounced citizenship status related to an incident of domestic violence, or you are the parent of a U.S. citizen son or daughter who was at least 21 years of age and who died within 2 years prior to filing the self-petition; You have suffered battery or extreme cruelty by your U.S. citizen son or daughter; You have resided with the abusive son or daughter; You are a person of good moral character.

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