VAWA/U Visa

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What is VAWA?

A VAWA (Violence Against Women Act) Petition is available for a person (regardless of gender identity) who has been a victim of domestic violence committed in the United States by a US citizen or permanent resident who is their spouse, child or parent.

For more information about VAWA please see the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services website.

What are the benefits of VAWA?

VAWA allows the recipient to:

  • Apply for an Employment Authorization Card and a Social Security Number
  • Legally work in the United States without fear of deportation
  • Include certain family members in the application including those outside of the U.S.
  • Apply for permanent residency in the U.S.

What documents do I need for a VAWA consultation?

  • Proof of the legal status of the abuser
  • Proof of marriage or relationship to the abuser
  • Proof of the abuse, such as a police report
  • If you have been arrested or convicted of a crime, please bring a certified final court disposition(s)

What is a U Visa?

A U Visa is available for a person who has been the victim of certain serious crimes in the U.S. (including domestic violence) and who cooperates with law enforcement in the investigation or prosecution of the crime. There are some U Visas available for those who have been victims of serious violations of labor laws in the workplace. A criminal investigation of the crime is required, which can be from the Police, Sheriff, Prosecutor’s office, the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), or any other agency that has authority to investigate these crimes.

For a list of qualifying crimes and more information about the U Visa, please visit the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services website.

What are the benefits of a U Visa?

• Obtain legal status in the U.S.
• Apply for Employment Authorization and obtain a Social Security number
• Legally work in the United States without fear of deportation
• Include certain family members in the application including those outside the U.S.
• Apply for permanent residency in the U.S.

What documents do I need for a U Visa consultation?

If you believe you can apply for a U Visa, you should bring a copy of the complete report of the crime from the appropriate law enforcement agency or Department of Children and Family Services.  If you don’t have a copy of the report, CARECEN can assist you in obtaining a copy.

You may call to schedule an appointment for a VAWA or U Visa consultation by calling 213 385-7800 x140 or come in on any Monday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The consultation is free.