My Spouse Died, Can I still Immigrate?
In some circumstances, the answer is, YES. Widows or widowers who were married to U.S. citizens at the time of the citizen’s death may apply for a Green Card.
You may be eligible to receive a Green Card through widow/widower status if you:
- Were married to a U.S. citizen at the time he or she passed away
- Either have a pending or approved Form I-130 or you have filed a Form I-360 within 2 years of your spouse’s death (or no later than Oct. 28, 2011, if your citizen spouse died before Oct. 28, 2009, and you were married less than 2 years).
- Are not remarried
- Were not divorced or legally separated from your spouse at the time he or she died
- Are able to prove that you were in a bona fide marital relationship until the time of your spouse’s death
- Are admissible to the United States
To immigrate as the widow(er) of a citizen, 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.
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, you do not need to file anything. The Form I-130 will be automatically converted to a Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant. If you have children (unmarried and under age 21), they may be included on the Form I-360 regardless of whether your deceased spouse had filed a petition for them.
If you were married to U.S. citizen before the citizen’s death but had no I-130 petition filed on your behalf, you can self-petition as an “immediate relative” on Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant. If your citizen spouse did not have a Form I-130 pending at the time of death, you must file Form I-360 no more than 2 years after the death of your citizen spouse.
Call Martin Law for help (952) 746-4111.