Feal the Fear and File I-360 VAWA or I-589 Asylum Anyway

I procrastinate, waiting for a safe haven to write my memoir. I convince myself that the weekend will be the right moment. Saturday passes and I do laundry, go out to a restaurant, wash the Maltipoo, buy supplies, talk to friends, and binge Netflix because the latest episodes of The Crown just dropped. Suddenly, it is Sunday morning, which requires a brunch lasting into the afternoon. Who has the energy to write after brunch, in that peaceful moment just before dinner? Not me. Thus, another week passes without writing the assignments for my Master of Fine Arts classes.

Strangely, it is when I feel the fear of failure, the humiliation of not passing an ungraded class, that the muse visits me. I glue myself onto a chair and suddenly write 10 pages. In one fell swoop, as the morning light outside morphs into evening darkness, I spew my soul. Somewhere around 6 p.m., the dog whines, reminding me he must be walked…and fed dinner. Waiting until the last moment to do what must be done is humanity’s shared flaw.

The One Year Deadline to File I-589 Asylum

There will never be a safe haven to file for asylum. Remembering past harm in a country one was forced to flee, by definition, is a significant harm. A stove that burns whenever one gets too close. The United States government, however, created a perfect time to file an I-589 (Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal) asylum application: before the one-year anniversary since the last entry. If a noncitizen entered the States on May 30th, they have until May 30th of the next year to deliver the I-589 asylum application to the government.

Two Year Deadline to File I-360 VAWA

Unlike the one-year I-589 asylum deadline, the I-360 (Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant) VAWA (Violence Against Women Act) petition can be filed when a survivor is married to her abuser or within two years of divorcing them. The more important deadline is, “When do you want to get a work permit?” Filing the I-360 VAWA means filing for a work permit at the same time.

Like I-589 asylum, VAWA requires you to dig deep and remember memories you would rather forget. There is no safe space to apply. Not even on weekends. But if you call our office today, now, we will work to get you to a safer space soon.

Disclaimer – These entries are based on real life events. Family member names, when used, are real. Client names are changed for privacy.

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