Is it Possible to Get a VAWA Green Card Without an Interview

by | May 6, 2024

We understand that obtaining a Green Card in the United States can be a daunting task, especially if you have been the victim of abuse or extreme cruelty by a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident (LPR) family member. However, under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), eligible immigrants can petition for a Green Card without the involvement of their abuser. One question that often arises is whether it is possible to get a VAWA Green Card without an interview.

According to our research, it appears that USCIS is waiving the interview requirement for some Green Card applicants seeking an adjustment of status. This is good news for those who are eligible for a VAWA Green Card as it means that they may not have to go through an interview process. However, it is important to note that not all applicants will be exempt from the interview requirement.

If you are a VAWA petitioner, it is important to understand the process and requirements for obtaining a Green Card. While the process can take longer than other family-based Green Cards, it is possible to obtain a VAWA Green Card without an interview in some cases. We recommend seeking the assistance of an experienced immigration attorney who can guide you through the process and help you understand your options.

Understanding VAWA Green Cards

Eligibility Criteria

A VAWA Green Card is a type of immigration benefit for victims of domestic violence. In order to be eligible for a VAWA Green Card, you must meet certain criteria. First, you must be the victim of battery or extreme cruelty committed by a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident (LPR) spouse or parent. Second, you must be able to prove that you have a qualifying relationship with the abuser. Third, you must be a person of good moral character.

You do not need to be married to the abuser to be eligible for a VAWA Green Card. Additionally, you can apply for a VAWA Green Card even if you are in removal proceedings or have been deported.

Benefits of VAWA Protection

One of the key benefits of VAWA protection is that it allows victims of domestic violence to petition for a Green Card without relying on the abuser. This is critical because it ensures that victims can pursue a life free from the control of their abuser. Additionally, VAWA protection can provide relief from deportation and allow victims to work in the United States.

VAWA protection is not a guarantee of a Green Card. However, if you meet the eligibility criteria, it can be a powerful tool to help you obtain legal status in the United States.

The VAWA Green Card Application Process

Obtaining a VAWA Green Card is a two-step process that involves filing a Form I-360 petition and an application for permanent residence. The process can be complex, and it’s important to understand the requirements and procedures before beginning the application process.

Filing the I-360 Petition

The first step in the VAWA Green Card application process is to file a Form I-360 petition with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The I-360 petition is used to establish eligibility for a VAWA Green Card and must be filed by the victim of battery or extreme cruelty.

To file the I-360 petition, you will need to provide evidence of the abuse and your relationship to the abuser. You may also need to provide evidence of good moral character, such as a criminal background check and letters of recommendation.

Evidence Collection

Collecting evidence of the abuse can be a challenging and emotional process. You will need to provide evidence that shows you were the victim of battery or extreme cruelty, and that the abuse was committed by a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident.

Examples of evidence that may be used to support your case include police reports, medical records, photographs, and affidavits from witnesses. Collect as much evidence as possible to support your case and establish eligibility for a VAWA Green Card.

Application Review Period

Once your I-360 petition has been filed, USCIS will review your application and may request additional evidence or information. If your petition is approved, you will be eligible to apply for a VAWA Green Card by filing an application for permanent residence.

The application for permanent residence will require additional evidence, including proof of identity, financial support, and medical examination results. If your application is approved, you will be scheduled for an interview with USCIS.

In some cases, USCIS may waive the interview requirement for VAWA Green Card applicants. However, this is not guaranteed and will depend on the specific circumstances of your case.

Interview Waivers for VAWA Applicants

As VAWA petitioners, you may be wondering if it is possible to obtain a green card without an interview. The answer is yes, it is possible. However, it is NOT common. Most VAWA applicants will end up doing an interview.

Criteria for Interview Waivers

According to the USCIS, VAWA petitioners may be eligible for a waiver of the interview requirement if they meet certain criteria. These criteria include:

  • The evidence submitted with the petition is sufficient to establish eligibility for the benefit sought.
  • The applicant’s identity has been verified.
  • There are no indications of fraud or misrepresentation in the application.
  • The applicant meets all other eligibility requirements.

If the USCIS determines that the submitted evidence is sufficient to establish eligibility for the benefit sought, they may waive the interview requirement.

Requesting an Interview Waiver

If you meet the above criteria, you may request an interview waiver by submitting a written request to the USCIS. The request should include a detailed explanation of why an interview is not necessary in your case and any additional supporting evidence.

It is important to note that the USCIS has the discretion to grant or deny interview waiver requests. If your request is denied, you will be required to attend an interview.

Potential Challenges and Considerations

If you are applying for a VAWA Green Card, there are a few potential challenges and considerations to keep in mind. In this section, we will discuss some common application mistakes and ways to deal with delays.

Common Application Mistakes

One common mistake that applicants make is submitting incomplete or inaccurate forms. This can delay the processing of your application or even result in a denial. Therefore, it is important to carefully review all of the instructions and requirements before submitting your forms.

Another mistake is failing to provide sufficient evidence to support your claim of abuse. The USCIS requires credible evidence to establish that you have been the victim of battery or extreme cruelty by a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident. This evidence can include police reports, medical records, witness statements, and other documentation.

To avoid these mistakes, it is recommended that you seek the assistance of an experienced immigration attorney. They can help you navigate the application process and ensure that you have all of the necessary documentation to support your case.

Dealing with Delays

The processing time for a VAWA Green Card application can vary depending on a variety of factors, including the complexity of your case and the workload of the USCIS. It is not uncommon for applications to take several months or even years to be processed.

If you experience delays in your application, it is important to remain patient and persistent. You can check the status of your application online using the USCIS Case Status tool. If your application has been pending for an extended period of time, you can also contact the USCIS directly to inquire about the status of your case.

Contact North County Immigration for VAWA Help

If you are a victim of domestic violence or abuse, and you are seeking legal assistance with your VAWA petition, we at North County Immigration are here to help. Our experienced attorneys can guide you through the process of filing your I-360 petition and your adjustment of status application.

We understand that the VAWA application process can be overwhelming and stressful. That’s why we offer comprehensive legal services to help you obtain your green card. We can assist you with gathering evidence, filling out forms, and preparing for your interview, if one is required.

At North County Immigration, we are committed to providing compassionate and effective legal representation to all of our clients. We will work tirelessly to help you achieve your immigration goals and protect your rights.

To learn more about our VAWA legal services, or to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys, please contact us today. We look forward to helping you.