Who is eligible for a Widow(er) Green Card?
In order to be found eligible for a widow or widower Green Card, you must have been married to a U.S. citizen at the time of the citizen’s death.
If you wish to immigrate to the United States based on being the widow or widower of a United States citizen, you must prove that you were married legally and that the marriage was entered into in good faith and not solely to obtain immigration benefits.
If your spouse did not previously file a Form I-130 on your behalf, you must file Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er) or Special Immigrant with USCIS.
Guidelines for Widow or Widower Green Card
You may be eligible for permanent residence through widow/widower status if you:
- Were married to a U.S. citizen at the time or his or her death;
- 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;
- Are not remarried;
- Were not divorced or legally separated at time of death;
- Can establish a bona fide marital relationship with the deceased spouse;
- Are admissible to the United States.
I am a widow with a pending or approved immigrant petition. How do I apply for a widow Green Card?
If you are married to a citizen of the United States who had previously filed Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative [LINK TO I-130 PAGE] for you before he or she died, you do not need to file anything. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will automatically convert the Form I-130 petition to a Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er) or Special Immigrant.
To qualify, you must not have been divorced or legally separated from the U.S. citizen at the time of death. You are ineligible to apply for benefits if you have remarried.
Can I list my children on Form I-360?
If you have children who are unmarried and under the age of 21, they may be included on Form I-360 regardless of whether your deceased spouse had filed a petition for them.
I am a widower without a pending or approved immigrant petition. How do I apply for a widower Green Card?
If there was no Form I-130 petition filed by the U.S. citizen spouse prior to his or her death, you can still self-petition as an ‘immediate relative’ on Form I-360. In order to qualify you must not have been divorced or legally separated from the U.S. citizen at the time of death. You must file within 2 years of the U.S. citizen spouse’s death.
I am the widow or widower of a U.S. Military Member. Can I apply for a widow(er) Green Card?
Surviving spouses of United States military members who were killed in combat receive special immigration benefits under Public Law, 108-136 Section 1703. Individuals in these categories may self-petition as immediate relative on Form I-360.
A widow or widower Green Card can be a complicated application to file for and it is greatly recommended that you hire an experienced immigration attorney to represent you. Please contact our Los Angeles immigration office now for a FREE consultation.