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Filing Deadline for Certain Widows/Widowers of USC's

Friday, October 07, 2011

  • Immigration Advocates Network

The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) provides that widows/widowers of U.S. citizens who meet specific criteria may file a petition that when approved can form the basis of an application for lawful permanent residency.

Previously, the widow/widower of a U.S. citizen was required to demonstrate that s/he was married to the U.S. citizen spouse for at least two years at the time of the citizen's death. On October 28, 2009, the 2010 DHS Appropriations Act amended the INA to remove the two-year marriage requirement. Other requirements, including the requirement of filing a petition within two years of the U.S. citizen's death, still apply.

There is a fast-approaching I-360 filing deadline of October 28, 2011 for widows/widowers of U.S. citizens who died prior to the passage of the Act on October 28, 2009 who were not married to the spouse for two years prior to the citizen's death and who were not the beneficiary of a pending or approved I-130 or I-360 at the time of the citizen's death. We want to alert you to resources on widow/widower petitions available through the Immigration Advocates Network, our partners, and other sources.

Are you a practicing immigration lawyer?
Join the Immigration Advocates Network to access a library of information on this and other topics.

The "Library" contains:

- A USCIS Fact Sheet on I-130 and I-360-based relief for widows/widowers of USC's

- Text of the October 28, 2009 law amending the widow/widower provision

- A CLINIC article on the elimination of the two-year marriage requirement of the widow/widower provision

IAN Community Forum

Ask questions and discuss family-based immigration and other topics on the IAN Community Forum. Each section of the Forum is moderated by expert AILA attorneys. To participate in the Community Forum, visit

Other resources on widows/widowers:

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) provides eligibility information at

Forms relevant to widows/widowers of U.S. citizens at


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