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VAWA Abused Spouse Green Card Filings Can Halt DACA Approvals
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Posted On: October 1, 2013
In the latest news from AILA (American Immigration Lawyers Association), filing a DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) case – which doesn’t lead to a green card but the chance for a two year work permit – at the same time as a VAWA (Violence Against Women Act) immigrant visa case may slow down the issuance of a DACA work permit:

“The Vermont Service Center (VSC) only adjudicates DACA applications in which a VAWA-related application is also identified . . . . 

If there is a VAWA-related filing at the VSC, a DACA application filed elsewhere for the same applicant will be forwarded to the VSC. Per the VSC, if the VAWA-related application is close to its normal processing time, it will be adjudicated first. If the VAWA-related application is not close to the normal processing time the DACA application will be adjudicated first. According to VSC the transfer process may cause a slight delay in adjudications. The delay appears more significant where the VAWA-related filing occurs after the DACA application is already pending, though some members have experienced faster VAWA-related adjudications where the VAWA-related application is filed first.

Because the DACA processing time is significantly shorter than that for a U/T/VAWA petition, members may want to consider filing clients’ DACA applications first and waiting until the application is adjudicated before filing a VAWA-related application. 

Posted on AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 13093006 (posted Sep. 30, 2013) 
Attorney Heather L. Poole practices exclusively in the area of U.S. family-based immigration law and citizenship law. Heather is a nationally-published immigration author, frequent lecturer on immigration issues, and member & officer of the American Immigration Lawyers Association’s Southern California Chapter. For more information about Heather and the services offered, visit


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