Cancellation of removal under the Violence Against Women Act (“VAWA”) is an often overlooked form of relief for noncitizen survivors of abuse who are faced with removal proceedings. Compared with cancellation of removal for nonpermanent residents (“non-LPR cancellation”), VAWA cancellation is usually a more generous, lenient option for many survivors. In addition, unlike spouse self-petitions, there is no deadline to apply for cancellation after a divorce or loss of immigration status by the abuser, and abused adult sons and daughters are eligible for cancellation without age or marital limitations. This practice advisory introduces and provides an in depth review of each eligibility requirement for VAWA cancellation, discusses the applicable evidentiary standard, and considers procedural issues and strategies useful in immigration court as well as issues arising after an immigration judge issues a decision. Included in this practice advisory is an appendix with a side-by-side comparison of three forms of immigration relief often available to survivors in removal proceedings: VAWA cancellation, VAWA self-petitioning and adjustment of status, and non-LPR cancellation.
U Visa/T Visa/VAWA