[pdf] INS Virtue Any Credible Evidence and Extreme Hardship Memo October 16, 1998 (+)

This memo has excellent language on page 7 near on the “any credible evidence” standard and the documentary requirements, and supporting language as to why it is structured that way. Specifically– “Any credible evidence” on page 7 “ Generally primary or secondary evidence must be submitted with an immigrant visa petition. See 8 CFR 204. l. However, that section allows the battered spouse or child self-petitioner to submit “any credible evidence” and does not require that the alien demonstrate the unavailability of primary or secondary evidence.

[pdf] VAWA Hotline INS Press Release (August 11, 2000) (+)

This press release by INS announced the creation of the VAWA Information Line, a telephone information line -designed specifically to assist battered immigrants seeking to self-petition. Since the creation of the telephone line, the Vermont Service Center has expanded this service to include email. The line provides recorded information about the application process and updates on issues to applicants, attorneys, service providers and other assisting battered immigrants

[pdf] Memo on Revocation of VAWA Self-Petitions- (August 5, 2002) (+)

Memorandum Affirms the Need and Benefit for a Specialized Central Unit. This memorandum prohibits local CIS offices from re-adjudicating self-petitions at page 1 and supports supervisor review in the central unit prior to revocation of the self-petition at page 2. This memorandum is a useful tool for educating local offices about their role in adjusting self-petitioners.

[pdf] DOJ Memo on Supplemental Guidance on Self-Petitioning Process and Related Issues (May 6, 1997) (+)

This memorandum outlines the changes in the handling of self-petitions for immigrant status filed by battered spouses and children of U.S. citizens and permanent residents aliens and addresses related issues. The changes highlighted include: the Centralization at the Vermont Service Center at page 2, Other District Office issues page 7.

[pdf] USCIS Interoffice Memo Legal and Discretionary Analysis for Adjudication May 3, 2006 (+)

This interoffice memorandum notes the importance of conducting both a legal and discretionary analysis for adjudications. This memorandum reminds adjudicators of the importance of carefully analyzing the factual findings, legal requirements, and discretionary factors in adjudicating applications and petitions (at page 1). While the legal analysis is important, “it is not the end of the adjudication, regardless of whether the applicant has shown legal eligibility or not, and even if the requisite hardship for a waiver has been shown” adjudicators must conduct a discretionary analysis weighing the applicant’s equities including the applicant’s conduct, character, relationships, U.S. ties, and other humanitarian factors (at page 1 and 2).

[pdf] USCIS NTA Procedures and Fraud Findings (+)

This memorandum revises guidance to USCIS officers on how to process and prioritize cases in which a non-citizen appears to be removable, to include some self-petitioners whose adjustment of status application is found deniable (at page 3). Additionally, the memo also prioritizes removal for cases denied by USCIS based on fraud. In all pending cases, including VAWA self-petitions where there is a suspicion of fraud. In cases where fraud has been verified and the denial is at least in part based on a finding of fraud, USCIS will Issue an Notice to Appear (NTA) once it denies the case after the fraud is verified through an administrative inquiry by USCIS FDNS at (page 7).

[pdf] The 2005 Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act: Why Congress Acted to Expand Protections to Immigrant Victims (+)

A brief history of the Violence Against Women Act and congressional intent that lead to the expanded legal protections for immigrant crime victims in the 2005 reauthorization written by Representative John Conyers, Jr.

[pdf] USCIS Policy Memo on Requests for Evidence and Notice of Intent to Deny (+)

This USCIS Policy Memorandum provides guidance on procedures for issuing Requests for Evidence (RFE) and Notices of Intent to Deny (NOID) for the adjudication of petitions, applications, and other requests to include VAWA Self-Petitions.The RFE and NOID process gives adjudicators an opportunity to request additional evidence “to determine whether each of the essential element has been satisfied by the applicable standard of proof” at page 2 for VAWA self-petitioners the standard is “any credible evidence”. The RFE and NOID is a mechanism built into the VAWA self-petitioning process which affords officers an additional prospect to identify deception and at the same time allows immigrant victims an opportunity to supplement an application with additional information or provide an explanation to cure a deficiency to show eligibility.

[pdf] INS, Paul Virtue, “Extreme Hardship” and Documentary Requirements Involving Battered Spouses and Children (August 16, 1998) (+)

This INS memorandum discusses the unique factors that will be considered when determining “extreme hardship” and “extreme cruelty”. The memo also discusses the documentary requirements involving battered spouses and children under VAWA’s any credible evidence statutes that apply to battered spouse waiver and all VAWA immigration cases.

[pdf] How Specially Trained Adjudicators in a Centralized Unit, Rather than Generalists in Local USCIS Offices, Make a Critical Difference in the Quality of Decisionmaking in VAWA Cases (+)

This backgrounder explains the current process and summarizes those survey results, reflecting the experience of legal advocates with the VAWA interviews that are already conducted at local USCIS offices. The survey results indicate that many local offices are poorly equipped to handle VAWA cases, with advocates often giving low marks on both knowledge of the law and sensitivity to victims. Giving local offices any additional interview or adjudication responsibilities in VAWA cases, as the proposals had suggested, simply did not make sense – for victims, or the system – and defied decades of lessons learned and best practices in the domestic violence field about the critical importance of specialized training.

[pdf] How Training and Expertise Improve VAWA Immigration Case Processing: The Efficacy and Legislative History of the Specialized VAWA Unit (+)

In passing the Violence Against Women Act and including immigration protections in it, Congress sought to create a mechanism through which U.S. immigration laws could offer help to immigrant victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking, and other crimes. Spousal abuse consists of chronic violence and is characterized by persistent intimidation and repeated physical and psychological harm. Absent intervention, it is almost guaranteed that the same woman will be assaulted over and over by her mate. Studies indicate that the repeated violence escalates in severity over time and knowledge of this fact is the foremost reason women stay with their batterers.

[pdf] INS Implements Direct Mail of Form 1-360 for Self-Petitioning Battered Spouses and Children (+)

To ensure appropriate and expeditious handling of all self-petitions filed by battered spouses and children, the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) has implemented new centralized filing procedures. Under the new procedures – which were published in the Federal Register on April 7, 1997 – applicants now should mail their applications to the Vermont Service Center.

[pdf] Letter from Alex Aleinikoff (INS) fo Leslye Orloff (Ayuda) Regarding VAWA Self-Petitioning Cases (+)

Letter in response to Leslye Orloff, Director of Programs at Ayuda, INC from the U.S. Department of Justice Immigration and Naturalization Service discussing creating of the VAWA Unit and VAWA cases processing and the interrelationship with I-130 family based visa processing.

[pdf] DOJ Memorandum on the Implementation of Crime Bill Self-Petitioning for Abused or Battered Spouses or Children of U.S. Citizens or Lawful Permanent Residents (April 16, 1996) (+)

DOJ Memorandum on the Implementation of Crime Bill Self-Petitioning for Abused or Battered Spouses or Children of U.S. Citizens or Lawful Permanent Residents (April 16, 1996). This memo details the basic eligibility requirements for VAWA self-petitioning, adjustment of status, employment authorization, evidence in general, extreme hardship and battery and extreme cruelty. HQ 204-P

[pdf] Federal Register: New Classification for Victims of Severe Forms of Trafficking in Persons (+)

This rule is intended to assist all concerned Federal officials, including, but not limited to, officials of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (Service), and eligible applicants, in implementing provisions of section 107(e) of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA).

[pdf] Current State of VAWA and Trafficking Victim Protection Act Implementing Regulations and Policies (February 13, 2013) (+)

The following article provides an up-to-date list of VAWA statutory provisions for which no implementing regulations or policies have been issued. This list is followed by a consequent list of VAWA and Trafficking Victim
Protection Act (TVPA) regulations that were overruled by statute. This report ends with a list of
current regulations that do not reflect expansions of VAWA or TVPA protections that became
law subsequent to the issuance of the regulations.

[pdf] Chapter 03.1: Introduction to Immigration Relief for Immigrant Victims of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault and Glossary of Terms (+)

An overview of immigration options for immigrant victims of sexual assault and domestic violence, options related primarily to crime victimization, information on VAWA immigration relief, and a glossary of terms.

To understand immigration law, it is crucial for an attorney or advocate to understand the most commonly used terminology. The following brief descriptions of terms are relevant to assisting battered immigrants.

[pdf] VAWA IV Researcher Perspective on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault (+)

A memo regarding important research based information about how the provisions in HR 4970 roll back and eviserate the victims of domestic violence, rape, sexual assault, human trafficking, and other violent crimes suffered by non-citizen women and children in the United States.

[pdf] The 2005 Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (+)

Ranking Member John Conyers provides an overview of the history of congressional involvement with the Violence Against Women Act’s (VAWA) provisions to protect immigrant victims of domestic violence and other forms of violence against women. He also outlines the reasoning behind, and purpose of, the most recent enhancements in legal protections for immigrant victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, trafficking, and foreign fiances and spouses that were included in the recently reauthorized VAWA 2005, also describing the bipartisan work that resulted in this newest piece of legislation.

[pdf] Offering a Helping Hand: Legal Protections for Battered Immigrant Women: A History of Legislative Responses (March 1, 2002) (+)

This article chronicles the legislative history of immigration protections afforded immigrant crime victims in the Violence Against Women Acts (VAWA) of 1994 and 2000, through the Battered Spouse Waiver, and through VAWA Confidentiality, the history and development of the VAWA self-petition, VAWA cancellation of removal, the battered spouse waiver, any credible evidence standard, VAWA confidentiality, benefits access for battered immigrant VAWA self-petitioners and cancellation/suspension applicants, the U-Visa, victim’s ability to obtain lawful permanent residency in the U.S. and Legal Services Corporation funded legal assistance are discussed in detail. This article collects and publishes information contained in documents developed during advocacy that led to the passage of federal immigration law legislation creating each of these protections.

[pdf] Memorandum: Supplemental Guidance on Battered Alien Self-Petitioning Process and Related Issues (+)

Memorandum from Paul Virtue outlining changes in the handling of I-360 self-petitions for immigrant status filed by battered spouses and children of U.S. citizens and permanent residents aliens and addresses related issues.