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Filed: Country: Togo

I am preparing my document for VAWA (i-360)after suffering some abuse in my marriage but i have been doing all the document myself because i have not been working for about three years and my wife wont let me.My question is:how can i get a police clearance as my international passport has expired and all other of my identification cards has expired also.i am stocked at this point and i will be so happy if someone can suggest a solution for me.

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Filed: Timeline

Do you live in IL? Every jurisdiction has specific requirements. In general you need police clearance letters from any place you lived 6 months or more the last 3 years. So is this only one place? 


You can start by going to your local police dept. If the Officer there says they are unable to help ask to speak with the Chief.  At the end of this post I am going to cut/paste a sample letter an advocate would use to help you get a police letter. 


You can also look into state criminal records but they usually require a photo ID. 


You should document your attempts to get police clearance. Names, dates, times, rejection notices if possible. If you can not get a police clearance done you should submit a letter explaining this listing all your attempts and any supporting evidence of your attempts. You will get an RFE for the police clearance. You may be able to take the RFE to the local Chief and they may do it based on that.


If they still wont do it, and you are unable to get it from anywhere the last resort is to send good moral declarations from as many people as you can. Employers, teachers clergy, social workers, medical providers. This is not the ideal way though and you must show that you were unable to get the police letter.


Work on getting your passport renewed and/or some type of photo ID. RFEs will take a while to be issued and when it is you get 87 days to respond. You may be able to get your ID and police clearance to respond to the RFE in time. You can also post your specific location in the VAWA thread and perhaps someone there has direct knowledge for that area. 


Letter to local police department requesting clearance
To Whom It May Concern:
The bearer of this letter is a “self-petitioner” under the Violence Against Women Act
(VAWA). This law is an immigrant provision, which passed as part of a crime bill in
1994. VAWA allows abused undocumented women to file for legal permanent residence
status without the help of their abusive husbands.
In order to petition, the self-petitioner needs to gather evidentiary documentation of her
“good moral character.” The law requires that she obtain a letter of clearance from the
police department in each city where she resided for at least six months in the last three
Because VAWA self-petitioners are undocumented in the U.S., however, they do not
have traditional forms of photo identification. Some have identification from their
countries of origin, but others have no photo identification at all. Unfortunately, the only
way for them to obtain those identification documents is by petitioning for legal status
under VAWA and submitting a letter of clearance from their local police departments.
I recognize that writing a clearance letter without traditional photo identification might
not be part of your standard protocol. This is a challenge being met by legal enforcement
agencies and other groups around the country right now as they grow increasingly aware
of VAWA and its requirements. Some police departments have responded to this issue by
including a disclaimer directly in the letter that the individual was unable to show photo
identification. Others have included a sentence stating that: “This letter is to be used for passport, immigration, or adoption purposes only.”
This client does not yet have an immigration number. She needs the police clearance
letter in order to file her application and be issued a number.
VAWA also requires that the clearance letter be included in the application rather than
sent directly to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services as with many other
immigration processes. VAWA applications are processed at a separate center in
Vermont, and petitioners are required to include police clearance letters in their
If there are any problems, feel free to contact me to speak on the petitioner’s behalf.
Thank you for your time.



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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Vietnam

You need to make clear the type of abuse. Simply stating that your spouse won't let you work is very vague. It sounds like you are documenting it, which is good.


Also, make sure the mailing address you use is safe. You may receive mail from the government. If your spouse gets the mail, this might not be good.


You need to get some kind of state identification card. I believe in Illinois you can get one from any driver's license bureau. Take your immigration documents, proof of residency (mail with your name and current address on it, especially an electric bill or something official).


Maybe check with Legal Aid in your county. Also, law schools often have free services. When I was a law student, I volunteered at several agencies. Good luck!

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Make sure you have all the documents you needed before filling, and just an advice if you can file for divorce do it and get a lawyer. Try to search for a legal aid service in your area. Ive got my divorce without paying anything penny with the help of legal aid and the women shelter.

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Filed: Country: Togo

@Villanelle i cant appreciate you enough for giving details and directions

@WandY thanks so much also

i will like to inform you that i live in Houston Texas and i will appreciate if anyone in this location has experience

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