Are you seeking to file a Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) petition in 2022? Do you want to know how to guarantee a successful outcome in your I-360 self-petition? Look no further! In this video, I will provide you with the best advice to ensure your VAWA petition is approved.
I will start by explaining the requirements and eligibility criteria for a VAWA petition. Then, I will walk you through the step-by-step process of filing your I-360 self-petition, including how to gather and submit evidence to support your claim of abuse.
Additionally, I will share tips on how to present your case effectively during the interview with USCIS, as well as what to expect during the entire process.
By the end of this video, you will have a clear understanding of what it takes to guarantee a win in your VAWA petition.
Hi, friends. Today’s video is the VAWA Petition Pro Tips in 2022. What are the latest tips? What can I give you as an immigration attorney, the best advice to win your I-360 self-petition under VAWA, Violence Against Men and Women Act? My name is Marina Shepelsky. I’m the founder of Shepelsky Law Group and I’m here to talk about VAWA, my favorite petition to turn people’s lives around to get you out of an abusive situation.
Pro tip number one, lots of joint documents. You have to prove this was a real marriage, and there’s no interview about the proofs. It’s not like asylum or even a marriage green card. Here, you just have to show with paperwork that this was a real marriage for love and to create a family together. How do you do that? Under immigration law, you have to give two name paperwork, joint documents, we call it. You need to have a joint bank account and add one spouse to the account so that it’s in both names. Both people are the owners of the account, and that has to be an active account. It has to be used for groceries, rent, and so on.
Also, if you are having trouble getting electricity or gas, utility bills, in both names because maybe you don’t have a social yet, make sure they add your name to your spouses, either as a care off-line, a second line on the bill under the name, or simply use your name as your spouse’s middle name, and make sure the electric company says, “Okay, we are going to put in your name as a second name on the bill. So, all the future bills coming in, starting from the day you made that phone call will be in, for example, Sandra John Shepelsky. Sandra, the US citizen, John, the first name of the immigrant, Shepelsky is the last name of the couple. It’s okay if your spouse didn’t change their last name when they got married to you. It’s not a major proof of the marriage, but pictures together, trips together, maybe invitations to places, bills, joint tax returns, leases. If you planned to buy a house together and you signed a contract or even an offer to buy a house in two names… Lots of joint documents will win your VAWA case.
Tip number two, you do not need a financial sponsor. Don’t worry about the fact that maybe your spouse was poor, didn’t have enough money to be your affidavit of support sponsor, and before you were looking for like a joint sponsor before you decided to do VAWA. Don’t need to do this for VAWA at all. You don’t need any financial sponsor for VAWA. VAWA is a self-petition. You are petitioning for your own green card. Your abuser doesn’t have to sign anything. No financial sponsor has to sign anything, so make sure you save your energy. You don’t need a sponsor and you don’t need a waiver. If you came without visa, if you entered US without a visa, if you had a prior deportation, no waiver is needed. You don’t even need a waiver if you’ve been here illegally, overstaying your visa, or without any visa for years. No waiver needed. That’s tip number two.
Tip number three, start seeing a counselor, a psychologist, to document your story, to document your trauma and to document your symptoms. If you are being abused, even if it’s not physical, I’m sure you are experiencing heartbeat that’s irregular, quick heartbeat, chest pain, stress, you are losing sleep. Maybe you are crying. All of these are symptoms of a disease, a mental disorder, and the doctor can put a name to it. Maybe it’s PTSD or depression, or anxiety, or you’re having panic attacks. All of these, only a doctor, a psychologist, and a counselor can document and put on paper.
Create a paper trail of your joint marriage paperwork and of your abuse. This is where a psychologist will be super handed… You will need them to give us, if we are filing for you, their patient notes and even do a report. That would be great. So, start seeing a psychologist today. Today, I had a consultation with a man from Oklahoma. I called a crisis hotline for him in Oklahoma. We found phone numbers for local crisis, domestic violence, counseling centers, a men’s homeless shelter. All of this information was given to me and all of this is free, so you just have to ask and people will help you.
Now, if you are asking yourself, and this is tip number four, if your spouse puts their hands on you, should you call the police or be afraid? My answer to you is yes, it is abuse. Yes, you should call the police. Your police reports, any court orders of your protection, restraining orders, will be your ticket to winning VAWA. So if you are experiencing physical abuse, threats, intimidation, threats to your life, do not be afraid to call the police. As a matter of fact, if you ever hit them back and they call the police on you, you’ll get arrested. So, the thing to do here is if somebody is physically abusing you, putting their hands on you, call the police, be the first one to call the police.
This will help you win your VAWA case, to have police reports, to show you cooperated with the police. And who knows? Sometimes, people even get a U visa out of cooperating with police. So, make sure if there’s physical abuse, somebody is hitting you, punching you, pushing you, shoving you, slapping you, that’s all abuse. Get a police report, call the police, or even go into the precinct in person. Maybe somebody will go with you to help you interpret, to be a translator. Do a police report. Don’t be afraid. It’s going to win your VAWA case. Prove their abuse.
And finally, people ask me this all the time. If they are not physically abusing you but they’re calling you names, constantly throwing you out of the house, is this abuse? Because, they never hit you, they never punched you, they didn’t push you, they didn’t slap you. Is this abuse? The answer is yes. This is abuse. I-360 VAWA is a case of subjectively seeing how you feel in this marriage. If you personally think that somebody is abusing you, your opinion is that you are being abused and they are doing abusive things like calling you names, throwing you out of the house, you need to show that as abuse. You are going to go to a psychologist. You will not be afraid. You will go to a shelter, even if you’re a man. There’s men’s homeless shelters. There’s women’s homeless shelter where you’ll be safe. Even if they didn’t put their hands on you, even if it’s just emotional.
So if your question is, if it’s abuse, if you are thinking about it, my tip to you is yes, it is an abuse. Your mind is bringing this up to you because you know in your heart and in your mind, and deep in your soul that you are not being treated right. If you are thinking about VAWA, that means you are already thinking you’re being abused and being mistreated. You can call it whatever you want. You could say, “Oh, he’s treating me bad.” That’s abuse. “He’s mistreating me.” That’s abuse. “He’s not very nice to me.” “He forces me to have sex with him,” or “She controls all my money.” “She isolated me from my family.” “She won’t let me send money to my children from my first marriage.” All of this is abuse.
So to answer your question, and that’s tip number five, if you are thinking in a situation where you are really being treated badly if it’s abuse, absolutely, it is abuse. And you can get a green card and a work permit as a self-petitioner for VAWA, whether you are a man or woman, and it works for same gender marriage, like if you are two women who are married or two men who are married. You can get a green card and a work permit. That’s tip number five.
And I also wanted to add that good moral character is really important here. Go to church, go to a mosque, to a synagogue, to your temple. Go to a community center. Volunteer. Maybe you are into animals, helping animals. Maybe you want to help the homeless people. There’s help out there, but you also should show you are helping others, and you need to show good moral character to win VAWA. If you’ve done all this that I mentioned, you have good strong joint documents, you weren’t afraid and you went to a psychologist, maybe you have a police report… It’s not necessary, but it would be great for your case if you did. You are documenting your trauma. You have witnesses in your case, you’re going to a church, you are helping other people and you’re showing good moral character. We put all this together, and we win your VAWA case.
Thank you for watching. If you like this video, please share this with your friends. Subscribe to our channel and please drop me a comment. Write your questions in the comments below. Because, at our law firm, Shepelsky Law Group, we love helping people turn their lives around, become green cardholders and US citizens, and making sure your immigrant dreams come true. Thank you.