How to get green card as a widow(er) of a US citizen?

Widow green card

 

At the time of the citizen’s death widows or widowers who were married to the U.S. citizen may apply for a green card. In order to immigrate as the widow(er) of a citizen until October 28, 2009, you had to have been married to the deceased citizen for at least two years at the time of the deceased citizen’s death. Effective October 28, 2009 congress removed this requirement.

You must prove that you were legally married to the citizen, and that you entered the marriage in good faith, and not solely to obtain an immigration benefit to immigrate as the widow(er) of a citizen.

With pending or approved immigrant petition

Widow(er) does not need to file anything if you were married to a U.S. citizen who had filed Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative for you before he or she died. To a Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant automatically the Form I-130 will be converted. Regardless of whether your deceased spouse had filed a petition for them, if you have unmarried and under 21years of age children, they may be included on the Form I-360.

You must not have been divorced or legally separated from the U.S. citizen at the time of death to qualify.  If you  have remarried your eligibility to immigrate as a widow(er) ends.    

Without a Pending or Approved Immigrant Petition

Widow(er) can self-petition as an “immediate relative” on Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant if you were married to U.S. citizen before the citizen’s death, but had no I-130 petition filed on your behalf. You must not have been divorced or legally separated from the U.S. citizen at the time of death to qualify. Also if you have remarried your eligibility to immigrate as a widow(er) ends. Within 2 years of the citizen’s death you must file.

You must file the Form I-360 no more than 2 years after the death of your citizen spouse if your citizen spouse did not have a Form I-130 pending at the time of death. You must file your Form I-360 no later than October 28, 2011, however, if you were married less than 2 years, and your citizen spouse died before October 28, 2009.

Widow(er) of a U.S. Military Member

There are separate immigration benefits under section 1703 of Public Law 108-136 for surviving spouses of deceased U.S. military members who were killed in combat.  Individuals in these categories may self-petition for “immediate relative” status on Form I-360.

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