Green Card for Victims of Family Violence

Immigration Help in Illinois

Are you eligible for permanent residency in the United States as the battered spouse, child, or parent of a U.S. citizen or permanent resident?

At Immigration Simplified, we can help you:

  • Determine green card eligibility; and
  • Prepare and file your paperwork with the appropriate USCIS office.

To learn more, call (312) 883-9944. We help immigrants, nonimmigrants, and U.S. citizens in Illinois and nationwide.

About the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)

As a battered spouse, child, or parent, you may file an immigrant visa petition under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), as amended by the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).

The VAWA provisions in the INA allow certain spouses, children, and parents of U.S. citizens and certain spouses and children of permanent residents (green card holders) to file a petition for themselves, without the abuser’s knowledge. This allows victims to seek both safety and independence from their abuser, who is not notified of the filing.

Green Card Eligibility for Battered Spouses, Children & Parents

To be eligible for a green card under VAWA, you must be:

  • An abused spouse of a U.S. citizen (USC) or lawful permanent resident (LPR);
  • The parent of a child who was abused by your USC or LPR spouse;
  • The abused child of a USC or LPR parent; or
  • The abused parent of a USC or LPR son or daughter who is at least 21 years old.

If you are applying under one of the first two categories above:

  • You must have been abused by your USC or LPR spouse during the marriage;
  • The marriage must have been entered into in “good faith”; and
  • The petition must be filed within two years of divorce.


  • You must have been subjected to “battery or extreme cruelty” by the USC or LPR family member;
  • You must have resided in the United States with the abuser at some point;
  • You must be of “good moral character”; and
  • You must show evidence that the perpetrator is or was a USC or LPR.

If you are living abroad at the time of filing the self-petition, you may file Form I-360 if:

  • The abuser is an employee of the U.S. government;
  • The abuser is a member of the uniformed services; or
  • You were subjected to battery or extreme cruelty in the United States.

For more information and guidance, fill out our online contact form or call (312) 883-9944.

Testimonials from Real Clients

  • “I am so happy we did not try and muddle our way through the paperwork alone.”

    - Adolph (Google Reviews)

  • “Thanks again for being an honest law firm and for showing up on time.”

    - Lidia & Jesus

  • “Every time I have a legal need Godoy Law Office has been there to help guide me through.”

    - P.P.B.

  • “Their attention to detail, and offering of important advice, based on experience, was indispensable every step of the way.”

    - Bruce (Google Reviews)

  • “I was really lost in the immigration process and Mr. Godoy figured out where the problem was and resolved it.”

    - Bijay (Google Reviews)


Immigration Assistance

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