Updated Policy Guidance on VAWA

Written by Ri Law

2022년 February 14일

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published updated policy guidance addressing Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) petitions, changing its interpretation of three policies.  First, USCIS no longer requires shared residence to occur during the qualifying spousal or parent-child relationship.  Instead, the requirement is fulfilled as long as the self-petitioner resides or has resided with the abuser at any time in the past.

Second, the updated policy guidance implements the decision in Da Silva v. Attorney General.  When it comes to evaluating the self-petitioner’s good moral character, an act or conviction will be considered as “connected to” the battery or extreme cruelty when it has a “casual or logical relationship”.  Lastly, the guidance also applies the decision in Arguijo v. USCIS, which allows stepchildren and stepparents to continue to be eligible for VAWA self-petitions even if the parent and stepparent divorced.

This guidance is effective immediately and applies to all Form I-360 Petitions for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant filed as VAWA self-petitions that are currently pending, or filed on or after February 10, 2022.