Chapter 07: Preparing the VAWA Self-Petition and Applying for Lawful Residence (August 15, 2023) [pdf]

Chapter 7 in Empowering Survivors: Legal Rights of Immigrant Victims of Sexual Assault. This chapter provides practical tips for filing a self-petition under the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 (VAWA) as revised in 2005. Under VAWA 2005, the VAWA self-petitions now cover a broader range of victim applicants. Attorneys and advocates unfamiliar with the complex changes that have occurred with VAWA in recent years should seek further assistance before helping victims file a self-petition. This chapter is not an exhaustive list of recommendations, but rather a guide to filing a VAWA self-petition.