Violence Against Women Act

There is a Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). This act protects spouses, children and parents who are physically or emotionally abused at home by a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. Victims can file for legal permanent residence, to work legally, or to get public services and benefits.

You may be eligible to become a permanent resident if your abuser is:

  • Your spouse or former spouse and is also a U.S. citizen;
  • Your parent and a U.S. citizen;
  • Your son or daughter and a U.S. citizen;
  • Your spouse or former spouse and a lawful permanent resident; or
  • Your parent and a lawful permanent resident.

VAWA lets victims apply without telling the abuser.

T Visa: Immigration Relief for Survivors of Sex or Labor Trafficking

The T visa is for victims of human trafficking. This visa can help victims apply for lawful immigration status, the ability to work, and public benefits.

U Visa for Victims of Criminal Activity

The U visa is for victims of some crimes. It is for people who have been mentally or physically abused and are helpful to police or government officials in an investigation.

Refugees and Asylum

Refugee or asylum status can be given to people who have been hurt or are afraid they will be hurt because of their race, religion, nationality, and/or membership in a particular social or political group.

Refugees are usually people outside the U.S. who can’t go home because they are afraid they will be hurt. Someone can only become a refugee from outside the U.S.:

Asylum status is for people who are already in the United States, or are at a port of entry to the United States.

You may apply for asylum in the United States no matter what country you are from or what your immigration status is. For more information about asylum: