Term PageU Visa/T Visa/VAWA
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.
On March 22, 2023, the ILRC sent a letter to USCIS acknowledging the implementation of biometrics flexibilities for domestic benefits applicants who live in remote areas. The ILRC commended the agency on its provision of flexibilities to ensure that all domestic applicants could continue with their benefits applications regardless of physical location in the United States. The ILRC further urged USCIS to expand these flexibilities to applicants abroad and highlighted the negative effects that consulate closures abroad have had on U and T visa applicants attempting to complete their biometrics abroad.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) policy guidance provides important information on how USCIS interprets these requirements and approaches T Visa adjudications. On October 20, 2021, USCIS added comprehensive policy guidance on T Visas to its Policy Manual. This practice advisory explores how these updates interpret the definition of a “severe form of trafficking in persons,” a key eligibility requirement for the T Visa.
On March 8, ILRC provided comments on the USCIS proposed fee rule. In the comment, ILRC commended agency actions codifying fee exemptions. Additionally, ILRC requested that USCIS codify fee waiver eligibility standards and raise the income threshold for fee waivers. We also requested that fee increases be reduced for applications for lawful permanent residence, work authorization and family petitions, among others. Finally, the comment provides requested changes to various USCIS forms that are open for comment in conjunction with the proposed fee rule.
In August 2021, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced a new “victim-centered approach” for immigration enforcement. This FAQ outlines what this means, what the directive is expected to do, and who qualifies for this new enforcement approach.
U Visa/T Visa/VAWA
Cancellation of removal under the Violence Against Women Act (“VAWA”) is a generous though often overlooked form of relief for abused noncitizens faced with removal proceedings. VAWA cancellation often benefits abused spouses and sons and daughters...
U Visa Fundamentals
U Visa/T Visa/VAWA
Level: Beginner This webinar will cover the unique nature of U nonimmigrant status, including the U petition, U waiver, the bona fide determination process, the U waitlist, and U adjustment of status. The presenters will discuss in detail the...
The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) has created opportunities for individuals to get protection from deportation, among other benefits, if they have suffered abuse from a spouse or certain family members. This brief overview walks through the immigration eligibility and benefits involved with VAWA.
This advisory contains general information shared by USCIS staff during the September 2022 stakeholder event. It contains notes compiled by the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) VAWA, U, and T National Committee and reflects USCIS responses to questions posed by the committee and partners.
This practice advisory reviews the updates and changes made by USCIS in 2022 to VAWA policy and process related to self-petitioners, and includes related practice tips.