Documentary Requirements for VAWA Cases (February 2014) [pdf]

Under the Violence Against Women Acts (VAWA) of 1994 and 2013, battered immigrant women may be eligible for two kinds of immigration relief: 1.) VAWA self-petitions and 2.) VAWA cancellation of removal (formerly suspension of deportation). These two forms of relief can lead to lawful permanent residence for the applicant. The following memo lists the requirements that must be met by an applicant, and some suggestions of evidence that may be offered to meet each requirement. The regulations accompanying VAWA recommend the submission of certain types of documents with the self-petition. Some of these are named below. The Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) is required, however, to consider “any credible evidence”. The suggested evidentiary documents in this memo are meant to be guidelines, and not exhaustive descriptions of the types of evidence that may be offered to support a petition under VAWA.