Those immigrants who were married to U.S. citizens and became widows or widowers, may apply for a green card, if they can prove legacy of this marriage and their eligibility.
The very first requirement is to be in marriage with the U.S. citizen at the time of death. In case one have got married again, immigration as a widow(er) will not be possible.
If the Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative was filled for you by the deceased partner, it will be transferred to a Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant. Unmarried children under age 21 may be included on the Form I-360 (in case the deceased partner filed it for the children).
If the Form I-130 was not filled before the U.S. citizen’s death, a widow(er) is supposed to file an “immediate relative” on Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant within 24 months of the spouse death with all necessary documents indicated in the form instructions.
When the form I-360 is pending or approved, the next step is to file Form I-485, Application to register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. It concerns those applicants who live in the United States.
In case the applicant lives outside the United States your petition will be sent out to the U.S. embassy abroad for further review.
Eligibility criteria to obtain a green card through widow/widower status:
- To be in marriage with a U.S. citizen at the time he or she deseeded.
- to have a pending or approved Form I-130
- or file a form I-360 within 2 years of a spouse death
- not to be remarried
- undergo a medical exam
- to be admissible to the United States.