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Widow of  US Citizen Green Card application requirements :

In order to continue with the immigration process after a USC spouse’s death under the widow(er) provisions, applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • Have been legally married to a USC at the time the USC passed away (i.e., no legal separation or divorce at time of death);
  • Have a pending or approved I-130 or file an I-360 within 2 years of the USC spouse’s passing;
  • Have not remarried;
  • Establish the marriage was bona fide; and
  • Be admissible (or eligible for and granted a waiver).

Depending on where they were in the immigration process when the USC spouse passed away, the noncitizen widow(er) may submit an I-360 self-petition or, if the deceased spouse had already submitted an I-130 petition on their behalf, then the widow(er) may proceed with their permanent resident application notwithstanding the spouse’s death.

In this situation the I-130 is converted automatically into an I-360 widow(er) self-petition, upon notification to USCIS of the USC petitioner’s death and request for conversion to an I-360. See 8 CFR § 205.1(a)(3)(i)(C)(2)

The widow’s child can also receive the immigrant visa (IW-2) if he or she meets the definition of “child” at the time of visa issuance and at the time of admission or adjustment of status. The child must be listed on an approved i-360 petition.

Q. If my US citizen spouse has passed away, and I do not have a petition pending with USCIS, how do I obtain status as a widow(er)?

A. If your U.S. citizen spouse died on or after October 28, 2009, you will have two years from the date of the citizen spouse’s death to file a Form I-360 petition. If your U.S. citizen spouse died before October 28, 2009, and you did not have a Form I-130 pending on October 28, 2009, you had until October 28, 2011, to file a Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant for you and your unmarried minor children.

Q.  Where do I file the Form I-360?

A. Currently, USCIS requires that applicants who are submitting a Form I-360 as a widow(er) file the form with the Vermont Service Center along with the supporting evidence and fees specified in the Form I-360 instructions.  The Form I-360 and filing instructions can be found at the USCIS website, under the “Forms” tab.

Q. If I have a pending I-130 and qualify as an immediate relative, how do I find out if my petition has converted to a widow(er)’s I-360?

A. Your Form I-130 will automatically convert to a widow(er)’s Form I-360. USCIS will adjudicate your converted I-360 and notify you with a decision. If your case has been the subject of litigation in any Federal court on the issue of the effect of the petitioner’s death on your Form I-130, you will receive notification from USCIS that the Form I-130 has been reopened.

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