Violence Against Women Act ​(VAWA)

Accént Legal the law office of Mark Kowalewski

We provide assistance to our clients, where the client is qualified, to receive a VAWA may include a work permit and a green card.

Sadly, many immigrants suffer domestic violence, battery and extreme cruelty at the hands of their U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouses, parents or children. Often abusive family will threaten to withhold legal immigration sponsorship as a tool of abuse.

VAWA allows battered and abused immigrants to petition for legal status in the United States without relying on abusive U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouses, parents or children to sponsor them. This self-petition offers special protections and exemptions for the battered and abused immigrant to seek legal status.

Depends. A VAWA applicant (also known as a “self-petitioner”) may include minor children and other eligible family members. Again, each is a case-by-case basis that requires individualized advice by a license attorney.

Yes, it is possible. You must have been in the United States for a continuous period of at least three years and you must have provided assistance to law enforcement.

Citizenship (also known as naturalization) is a separate application process after you have been a permanent resident for a certain period of time (either three or five years, depending). Some VAWA applicants can file for VAWA visa and permanent residency at the same time, while other VAWA applicants have to wait to file for permanent residency.

Again, this is a case-by-case basis depending on the relationship between the VAWA applicant and abusive U.S. citizen or permanent resident family member.
You may be eligible to become a lawful permanent resident (get a Green Card) if you are the victim of battery or extreme cruelty committed by:
  • A U.S. citizen spouse or former spouse;
  • A U.S. citizen parent;
  • A U.S. citizen son or daughter;
  • A lawful permanent resident (LPR) spouse or former spouse; or
  • An LPR parent.
Depending on how you entered the United States or if you committed a particular act or violation of immigration law, you may be barred from adjusting status.

However, VAWA self-petitioners and beneficiaries are exempt from all of these bars to adjustment.

Each individual case is different. Speak to an attorney for advice on your case.

The fee is $435 but the fee may be waived based on the claim you are filing. If waived, there is no fee for the application.

​Yes, it is possible. If you have committed certain crimes or engaged in other activities you may encounter problems. Speak to an attorney about the specifics of your case.

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Accént Legal the law office of Mark Kowalewski


Green Card/Adjustment of Status/Consular Processing

A Green Card holder (permanent resident) is someone who has been granted authorization to live and work in the United States on a permanent basis. As proof of that status, a person is granted a permanent resident card, commonly called a “Green Card.”


Naturalization is the process of U.S. citizenship being granted to a foreign citizen or national after he or she fulfills the requirements established by Congress in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).

Request for Evidence

A Request for Evidence (RFE) can be alarming.  However, these are often an opportunity for clarification on your application package.

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) allow some individuals who entered the United States as minors, and either entered illegally or over stayed their visa, to receive a renewable two-year period where they are deferred from deportation and are eligible for a work permit.

Deportation Defense

Deportation (sometimes called “removal”) occurs when the federal government formally removes an alien from the United States for violations of immigration or criminal laws by going through Immigration Court proceedings. 

Work Permit

A work permit may be available to you based on your status, circumstances, and your opportunity to submit applications that include a work permit.