Abused spouses and children do not need to file a separate VAWA self-petition.The Vermont Service Center’s (VSC) VAWA Unit will adjudicate applications for adjustment of status under section 1 of CAA for an abused spouse or child.The Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000 (Pub. 106-386) (VAWA 2000) and the Violence Against Women and Department of Justice Reauthorization Act of 2005 (Pub. 109-162) (VAWA 2005), amended the CAA to provide continued eligibility for adjustment of status as the battered or abused spouse or child under section 1 of the CAA. Whether this person is or ever was considered to be a citizen of Cuba by the Cuban government, and regardless of any claims to other nationalities he or she might have through his or her parents, he or she is a native of Cuba simply by being born there. In addition, the qualifying relationship may have been created before or after the principal's adjustment. The abused spouse or child must have resided with the qualifying Cuban principal at some point during the relationship as spouse or child of the qualifying Cuban principal.
The 384 COA is entered in advance of a final decision on the adjustment of status application.
Once a final decision is made, the COA is populated to reflect the correct classification (i.e., CU-7 if approved); however, the history screen of the CIS will maintain the previous 384 COA.
– If the principal applicant is the child’s father, evidence that the child meets the definition of child contained in section 101(b) of the Act (e.g., marriage certificate of the parents, evidence of legitimation, etc.) An individual seeking CAA adjustment as the abused spouse or child of a qualifying Cuban principal must present the same evidence of the relationship to the Cuban principal listed above. The adjudicator in his or her sole discretion will determine whether the evidence is credible and the weight to give it.
The individual must also present evidence that the individual has been battered or subjected to extreme cruelty by the Cuban principal. The VAWA amendments to the CAA do not alter other existing evidentiary standards or requirements applicable to adjustment of status applications (e.g., evidence demonstrating that the spouse or child is the spouse or child of the qualifying Cuban principal, was inspected and admitted or paroled, physically present in the United States for 1 year).
An officer adjudicating an application for adjustment of status under section 1 of the CAA filed pursuant to the VAWA amendments will ensure that the Central Index System (CIS) is properly updated with the appropriate class of admission (COA) 384, used to identify these specially protected cases.
If the officer is unable to update the CIS, then the officer must contact the local records office with write access to the CIS to request the update to the COA.An abused spouse or child must apply for adjustment of status under section 1 of the CAA using Form I-485 and selecting the application type utilized by non-abused spouses and children of a Cuban applicant (“I am the husband, wife, or minor unmarried child of a Cuban…”).Abused spouses and children may select this application type even if they are no longer residing with the qualifying Cuban principal at the time of filing.The VSC may refer the application to the appropriate field office for interview.If the VSC decides to relocate the application for interview, the adjudicating officer will first render an opinion on the abuse determination, and then relocate the individual’s A-file to the appropriate field office for a final decision on the adjustment of status application. A qualifying Cuban principal is one who: 1) Was inspected and admitted or paroled into the United States after January 1, 1959; 2) Was physically present in the United States for at least 1 year; 3) Is eligible to receive an immigrant visa; 4) Is admissible to the United States for lawful permanent residency; and 5) Has applied for, and is eligible for, adjustment of status; or Has adjusted status, whether under the CAA or another adjustment of status provision. The babies born of those women at Guantanamo Bay meet this requirement.) If a Cuban passport is unavailable, another official Cuban document, such as a Cuban Civil Registry document, a Cuban consular certificate of citizenship, or other document signed by a Cuban official with appropriate authority over the registration of citizens indicating that a named individual is a citizen, should be sufficient to establish citizenship. The adjustment of the spouse or child cannot precede the adjustment of the principal applicant; the adjustment must be completed at the same time as, or subsequent to, the principal's adjustment. An abused spouse or child may adjust status under certain circumstances when the qualifying Cuban principal is not a lawful permanent resident. If an LPR has battered or subjected to extreme cruelty the LPR’s spouse or child, the spouse or child may file an immigrant visa petition on his or her own behalf.