Understanding VAWA Timelines and Process



For victims of abuse seeking protection and stability in the United States, the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) offers a crucial pathway through self-petitioning. However, it’s essential to understand the intricacies of this process, including timelines and steps involved. At our immigration firm, we’re dedicated to providing guidance and support to individuals navigating the VAWA self-petition process, ensuring they understand what to expect every step of the way.

The self-petition process through VAWA typically takes around 24 months to three years to complete. Various factors, including the political climate, application backlog, and the complexity of individual cases, influence this timeline. As applications are processed by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), delays may occur. These delays may be due to staffing shortages and underfunding within the department. To stay informed about current processing times, applicants can regularly check USCIS updates specific to VAWA petitions.


multiple us flag


Most of our firm’s VAWA clients are also eligible for adjustment of status, work authorization based on the adjustment of status application, and travel authorization (to allow travel internationally). Accordingly, these clients begin to see benefits within months of submitting their VAWA and adjustment of status applications. Most clients receive work authorization, a social security number, and travel authorization in approximately 7 months! This is life-changing and gives clients the freedom they deserve until a green card is received.




While the VAWA self-petition process may seem lengthy, applicants must remain vigilant and proactive throughout. Despite potential delays, preparing a strong application from the start and adhering to USCIS procedures can help expedite the process. At our firm, we’re committed to supporting survivors of abuse every step of the way, providing the guidance and advocacy needed to navigate the VAWA self-petition process with confidence and resilience.

10.0Pratibha Kanive Agarwal
top attorney 2022

Agarwal Law Group

1100 H Street NW,

Suite 1220

Washington DC 20005