(VAWA, U Visas, T Visas)
Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)
VAWA allows certain foreign nationals to self-petition for permanent residence (green card) when the petitioning family member becomes abusive or extremely cruel. VAWA can be used by men, women, and children and doesn’t require physical violence. There are strong confidentiality protections and the abusive family member will never know about the filing.
Victims of Violent Crime (U Visas)
Foreign nationals who are victims of certain crimes - generally crimes involving violence - may qualify to gain status if they cooperated with law enforcement and suffered substantial physical or mental harm because of the crime. The U visa has one of the most generous waivers in all of immigration law, including forgiving deportation orders and entering without inspection. After maintaining U status for three years, the foreign national may be eligible to apply for lawful permanent residence.
Victims of Human Trafficking (T Visas)
Foreign nationals who are victims of a severe form of trafficking may qualify for protection under a T visa. Severe trafficking includes both sex trafficking and labor trafficking and happens when someone is recruited or hired to perform such work by force, fraud or coercion. The T visa can forgive most immigraiton violations. In some cases, recipients of T visas can apply for lawful permanent residence after just one year of maintaining status.