WomensLaw is not just for women. We serve and support all survivors, no matter their sex or gender.

Legal Information: Federal

Immigration

View all
Updated: 
January 30, 2018

Can I file for a VAWA self-petition if I am in another country?

Possibly, yes. Assuming that the abuser is a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident, and you are living abroad (in another country), you can file for a self-petition if any of the following are true:

  • The abuser is an employee of the U.S. government, and while you are/were both living abroad, s/he subjected you (or your child) to battery or extreme cruelty;
  • The abuser is a member of the uniformed services (the U.S. military), and while you are/were both living abroad, s/he subjected you (or your child) to battery or extreme cruelty; or
  • You are living abroad and you (or your child) were subjected to battery or extreme cruelty by the abuser while you were in the United States.* (It does not matter if the abuser is living with you abroad or not.)

* INA §§ 204(a)(1)(A)(v), 204(a)(1)(B)(iv)