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550 E. Devon Avenue, Suite 160, Itasca, IL 60143

Illinois Violence Against Women Act Immigration (VAWA) Attorneys

Schaumburg VAWA Self-Petition Immigration Attorneys

Immigration Lawyers in DuPage County Helping Victims of Domestic Abuse

Domestic abuse, in all of its tragic forms, is a serious problem for millions of families around the world, including many thousands here in the United States. Awareness and education efforts, as well as victim support organizations, have certainly been helpful in recent years, but when immigration concerns are a factor, victims of domestic violence are unlikely to come forward and report their experiences. They may fear being arrested, deported, and losing their immigration benefits simply for speaking up.

Fortunately, the federal Violence Against Women Act of 1994 (VAWA) was enacted to offer help for victims of domestic abuse, including when immigration factors are involved. Under the provisions of VAWA, the United States government allows domestic violence victims to seek help while still being allowed to remain in the U.S. legally. At Ana M. Mencini & Associates, P.C., our lawyers know how to apply the act in assisting our clients as they seek the safety and security they deserve.

How the Violence Against Women Act Helps

There are certain types of visas that are available to offer relief to victims of domestic violence, sex trafficking, and other crimes, including T visas and U visas. In addition to those visas, which carry long wait times, there is the VAWA Act, which can provide relief to those whose abuser is the one person who could also petition for them.

To combat this problem, the VAWA established a procedure for victims of domestic abuse to self-petition for lawful permanent resident status, as well as to apply for such a status for their dependents. You may be eligible to seek a green card under the VAWA if you have been the victim of extreme cruelty or battery committed by your:

  • U.S. citizen spouse or ex-spouse;
  • U.S. citizen parent;
  • U.S. citizen child;
  • Lawful permanent resident spouse or ex-spouse; or
  • Lawful permanent resident parent.

If you have already divorced your abuser, you have a limited window of two years in which to file your petition. The VAWA allows you to file your green card petition without notifying your abuser so that you are not put at increased risk for further abuse.

It is important to note that while the law is called the Violence Against Women Act, its provisions apply equally to male victims of domestic abuse. Abused men are also eligible to apply for permanent resident status under the law.

Compassionate Immigration Lawyers in Rolling Meadows and Schaumburg

Attorney Ana M. Mencini is the daughter of a Colombian immigrant, so she knows how challenging the immigration process can be. She is also fully aware of the destruction and devastation that domestic violence causes for those who are affected by it.

Ms. Mencini and the rest of the team at Ana M. Mencini & Associates, P.C. are well-versed in the provisions and the requirements of the VAWA. They are dedicated to helping victims of domestic abuse obtain the immigration benefits they need to begin building a safer, happier life in the United States.

Call 630-875-1700 Today

If you or your child has been victimized by domestic abuse and you would like to learn more about seeking protection under the VAWA, contact our office. Call 630-875-1700 for a confidential consultation with a compassionate member of our team today. We serve individuals and families in Itasca, Addison, Schaumburg, Bensenville, Elk Grove Village, Rosemont, DuPage County, Cook County, and throughout Northern Illinois.

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