How Much Does VAWA Cost? Overview

“How much does VAWA cost?” is the very next question to think about after checking your eligibility. VAWA means Violence Against Women Act and it offers critical protections and support to survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and other forms of gender-based violence in the United States. In this article, we will explore the expenses involved in applying for VAWA .

VAWA Application Filing Fees

Before spending any money, it is best to check the eligibility requirements for VAWA. Only an abused spouse, child or parent of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident may apply for VAWA. VAWA self-petitions allow survivors to seek legal status independent of their abusers. If successful the abused VAWA applicant will receive a permanent resident green card. VAWA petitions are filed with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) and there are several steps and applications involved in the process. The six items outlined below will provide the answer to the question: “how much does VAWA cost?”

  1. Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant: Form I-360 is the first and most important form for a VAWA application. It is this form that you use to tell USCIS that you have been abused and that there is a qualifying relationship between you and the abuser. There is no filing fee for this form. You may file form I-360 by itself or with an I-485 Adjustment of Status Application.
  2. I-485 Adjustment of Status: Form I-485 is the actual application for a green card. You use this form to request permanent residence. You may have entered the U.S. in a non-immigrant status such as a B1/B2 tourist, a F-1 student, a J-1 exchange visitor, etc., or you may have entered without inspection. The filing fee depends on your age. If you are under 14 and filing independently, the fee is $1,140 but is discounted to $750 if you are filing with at least one parent. If you are 14 or older, the filing fee is $1,140.
  3. Biometric Services Fee: USCIS may require applicants to provide fingerprints and photographs for background checks. This fee also depends on your age. There is no biometrics fee for applicants under 14 or 79 or older. Applicants 14-78 must pay an $85 biometrics fee, in addition to the adjustment of status application fee. The adjustment of status and biometrics fee (where applicable) must be submitted with the application, at the time of filing and may be paid with a personal check, money order or a credit card.
  4. Medical Examination: Adjustment of Status applicants are required to undergo a medical examination. The medical examination results may be submitted at the time of filing the I-485 application or later when it is requested by USCIS. You can only use a doctor that is approved by USCIS, for the medical examination, and their fees range from $250 to $700.
  5. Translations: All documents that are not in English must be submitted with an English translation. Documents such as your birth certificate and records for your home country are the types of documents that usually require an English translation. Translation services may charge per document and usually start at $50.
  6. Attorneys Fees: The value of a skilled attorney cannot be underestimated for this process. When an immigration officer reviews your application, he or she is applying immigration law to either approve or deny your request. While forms and instruction are available online, there are statutes, case law, legal opinions and memoranda that apply to your case and are not easily understandable without legal training. An experienced attorney can foresee issues with your application, save you time and money, prevent mistakes and provide you with peace of mind. Attorney’s fees for this service start at $5,450.
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How an Immigration Attorney Can Help?

My name is Cheryl Fletcher and I have been practicing immigration law since 2015. I have helped hundreds of VAWA applicants successfully obtain green cards. Potential clients call us at various points in their lives. Sometimes they are still living with the abuser and other times, they are in the middle of a divorce. Regardless of the situation, we are more than happy to help.

If you are feeling overwhelmed because of a domestic violence situation and you have heard about VAWA but you are not not sure if it is right for you, please reach out to us. I will spend 30 minutes explaining you rights and legal options and put you on the best road to achieve your goals.

Cheryl-Fletcher How Much Does VAWA Cost?

Watch Attorney Fletcher explain the 8 eligibility requirements for a successful VAWA petition. WATCH NOW.