I-360 VAWA Frequently Asked Questions
Approved I-360 but marriage has been annulled, will the adjustment of status be approved for the green card?
Hello Ayan! My name is L.C. I am sorry to bother you with this but I was looking for your input. I am an immigration law practitioner in Mesa AZ. I have a client for whom I got an approved I-360 based on VAWA. Prior to his adjustment interview today, his spouse obtained an annulment of their marriage.
The officer conducting the interview could not render a decision on the case and said he would get back to us later. I and my client are super worried that the annulment may affect his ability to adjust. The annulment states “fraud” as the basis though this is not the case and my client just did not have the resources to fight the termination of marriage case since he was here in AZ and the spouse filed in California.
Their marriage though was bona fide and the spouse was just really a mean and vindictive person. Vermont approved the I-360 but will the subsequent annulment result in a denial of his 485? I’m really worried about this and would like your input. Thank you so much.
That is a great question and from what I’ve read, the adjustment of status must be based on a valid marriage. If the marriage was subsequently annulled before AOS is submitted, you may not get a successful outcome. An annulment, as you know, is as if the marriage never took place which takes away the legal basis for green card eligibility.
The petition may be approved but your client will have trouble at the interview where they will be asked about the annulment of the marriage due to an alleged fraud. It’s possible to get approved if you can prove the marriage was bona fide and what the circumstances were when the marriage was annulled and why your client didn’t fight for a divorce instead.
You have an uphill battle to clear your client of this fraud accusation if USCIS has already been notified by the petitioner.
How do I apply for VAWA and how long will it take?
Wow, I am so sorry that you had to deal with all of that alone! If you have documented the abuse and can also include other evidence you have a good chance of VAWA approval.
I actually met another woman from NY who also came on a K1 from Nigeria and she was badly abused. She found out she was pregnant and that’s when she left with my urging her to. She lived in a shelter a few months and then applied for VAWA with the help of an pro bono attorney.
She now lives in an apartment that is paid by the shelter and is waiting for her green card. It’s not easy because you can work yet but it’s important to apply as soon as you can. The VAWA process can take almost a year to process.