person holding child in field

When immigrating with the assistance of a United States citizen or lawful permanent resident, it can feel like a dream come true. However, over time, you may find that your spouse or family member becomes abusive, using their position in the country to further oppress you. As such, you may feel helpless as your immigration is in the hands of an abuser. The United States recognizes this possibility and has created the Violence Against Women Act to allow those impacted by abuse to petition for a green card without the help of their family member. However, many VAWA applicants with children wonder if their children can be beneficiaries. If this reflects your circumstances, you’ll want to keep reading and learn why you must consult a New York City VAWA & U Visa lawyer.

What Is the VAWA?

The Violence Against Women Act allows those who have suffered abuse at the hands of a lawful permanent resident or United States Citizen to petition for a green card without the assistance of a family member. Though it is called the Violence Against Women Act, it is not exclusive to women but can be petitioned by anyone who has been abused under these circumstances. In most instances, the family member must serve as a sponsor for the applicant. However, if you have been abused, the family member may hold immigration over your head.

What Should VAWA Applicants with Children Know?

Many applicants are worried about what will happen to their children if they apply for a VAWA. However, you may be relieved to find that as long as your child is under 21 and unmarried, you can include them on your application. You do not need to prove they were a victim of abuse. If your application is approved, your child will be granted the same benefits you will receive as a VAWA applicant.

Additionally, if you have two children, one who is a U.S. citizen and one who is not, and you are being abused by your U.S. citizen child, your other child will not be able to receive derivative benefits under your application.

Can an Attorney Assist Me if I Need Guidance?

When you have endured abuse at the hands of a family member or loved one who is supposed to assist you in achieving a green card, it can be incredibly devastating. However, working with an attorney can help you and your child fight for the life and freedom you deserve.

At the Law Office of Jason A. Dennis, we understand how difficult these times can be. That is why our compassionate team is committed to fighting for you. If you believe you meet the eligibility requirements to petition under the VAWA or have questions about this process, we can help. Connect with us today to learn how we can assist you.