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Understanding VAWA Abuse Immigration Petitions: Why Was I Denied?

Learn about the most common reasons for VAWA petition denial. This article provides an in-depth explanation of what can cause a VAWA petition to be denied and how to avoid these denials. Get the facts and understand how to prevent your

The I-360 VAWA Petition provides a critical lifeline for many individuals who are in undocumented marriages to U.S. citizens or Green Card holders and are experiencing abuse. Through this petition, they can obtain legal status, work permits, and even Green Cards. However, the process of obtaining relief through a VAWA petition is not always straightforward. Many people face denials, leaving them feeling frustrated, disheartened, and unsure of their next steps. At times, our law firm takes on such cases to overcome the denials, but we believe it is essential to identify common reasons for VAWA denial. This article aims to help individuals understand the common reasons for VAWA denials and what they can do to overcome them.


We do VAWA work every day and we welcome new clients. If you are in a bad marriage to a US citizen or Green Card Holder and considering VAWA, call us for your in-depth personal consultation. 

Here are common reasons why your VAWA case was denied.

1. NOT hiring a lawyer.

Letting a paralegal, notary, or family member submit your VAWA Case is a big mistake that will cause you to get denied. Making the mistake of not hiring a lawyer to submit your VAWA case can be a costly and time-consuming mistake. Without legal representation, you may be denied the protections offered by the Violence Against Women Act. It is critical to ensure that your case is properly submitted so that you do not risk being denied or having your case delayed. A qualified lawyer can help ensure that all documents are correctly completed and filed in a timely manner.

2. Incorrect forms.

Applying for a visa can be a difficult and confusing process. Unfortunately, many applications are denied due to incorrect forms. It is important to make sure that all forms are filled out correctly in order to avoid having your application denied. In this article, we will discuss the reasons why an application might be denied and how to ensure that your forms are completed correctly so that your application is not rejected.

3. Mailing your correct forms to the WRONG place.

Where do I send the VAWA forms? Find out where to send them depending on where you are based. Click here – this is where you can send VAWA petitions.

4. Incorrect fees for accompanying I-485 Green Card Application and Work Permit forms.

Make sure your payment is up to date with the filing fees for your state. Filing the I-485 Green Card Application and Work Permit forms can be a daunting task, and incorrect fees can lead to costly delays. It is important to make sure your payment is up to date with the filing fees for your state, as even a small mistake could have serious financial implications. To ensure a smooth process, it is best to double check all documentation and make sure all payments are accurate.

5. Incorrect or false information in the forms.

Missing important information is very problematic for a VAWA application. Addresses, dates of birth, name spelling, dates and etc. must match – especially when you filed USCIS documents or visa application forms before and now the information contradicts what you said to the Government before.

6. Missing a deadline for Request for Evidence.

Right now, due to Covid, USCIS is giving extra 60 days grace period extension to almost any replies to their deadlines. In light of the ongoing pandemic, USCIS is providing additional time to respond to requests for evidence. This extra grace period will allow applicants more time to provide the necessary documentation and avoid missing their deadline. If you have questions about the timeline, give us a call: 718) 769-6352

7. Not sending in proof of the US Citizen Spouse’s US citizenship (passport, Naturalization Certificate, or US birth certificate), or green card holder status proof.

Proof of US citizenship or green card holder status is essential in determining whether an individual is eligible to sponsor a foreign national spouse. Failure to provide proof of US citizenship or green card holder status can lead to delays, denials, and other negative consequences in the visa application process. As such, it is important for applicants to make sure they submit the necessary documents when applying for a visa. Our team of dedicated attorneys can help you get these documents in place!

8. Not submitting enough proofs of marriage (JOINT documents)

Submitting enough evidence of marriage is essential for a successful joint petition. Documents such as joint tax returns, bank statements, lease agreements, bills, and proofs of travel with the abusive spouse provide invaluable insight into the history of the relationship. Gathering these documents can be time-consuming and tedious, but it is a necessary step in the process.

What documents do I need to submit for VAWA?

Joint tax returns with the abusive spouse, joint bank statements, joint lease agreements, joint bills, proofs of joint travel and savings and expenditures together as a couple, NON-X-rated joint photos.

9. Not sending in witness letters from people who can confirm you had a real marriage and that the spouse abused you verbally, emotionally, financially, and sometimes physically.

In a marriage-based green card application, you need to provide evidence from witnesses. These witnesses have first-hand knowledge of your relationship and can provide valuable insight proving that the marriage is real, and can also provide evidence of abuse suffered by the applicant. Without these witness letters, an application may be denied due to lack of evidence.

10. NOT going to a psychologist for an evaluation to be submitted with your case as proof of abuse and of the real marriage relationship.

Seeking an evaluation from a psychologist can be an invaluable asset in cases of abuse or proof of a real marriage relationship. Unfortunately, many people are unaware of the potential benefits and do not pursue this course of action when filing their case. However, an evaluation from a qualified professional can provide evidence to help support your claim and provide clarity to the court.

11. Not submitting any proof of abuse by the Citizen or GC holder spouse.

Submitting proof of abuse is an essential part of the VAWA process. Without sufficient proof, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) may deny an application or request additional evidence. Therefore, it is critical that both citizens and green card holders submit any available evidence of abuse to properly support their applications.

12. Filing VAWA after 2 years from the date of divorce.

It is important to understand the eligibility requirements, timelines, and filing options available when considering a VAWA application. Shepelsky Law’s lawyers will talk you through the best next steps based on the status of your divorce!

13. Not submitting proof of good moral character

It is important for individuals applying for immigration status to demonstrate good moral character. Proof of good moral character can include evidence of no criminal history, as well as attendance at church and participation in community organizations. Failing to submit proof of good moral character may have negative consequences on the immigration process.


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