U.S. Law Center

Can I still obtain a green card if my spouse is deceased?

If you are an immigrant living in Riverside County and your deceased spouse was a United States citizen, you are still eligible to apply for a green card after his or her death. However, there are some limitations and deadlines that must be adhered to, so it is important to know as much about the process as possible.

According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, you and your spouse must have been married at the time of his or her death. You will not be eligible if you were divorced. In addition, you cannot be remarried if you wish to be granted a green card based on your deceased spouse’s citizenship. You must also be able to prove that your relationship was legitimate and you were not married solely for the purpose of obtaining a green card.

In addition, it does not matter how long you and your spouse were married for. Previously, a couple had to have been married for two years in order for an immigrant to use widow or widower status to obtain a green card. However, this is no longer the case. But your application must be submitted within two years of your spouse’s death.

If your spouse had already submitted a petition on your behalf prior to his or her death, you do not need to take any action. However, if no petition was submitted you must submit the proper forms and documentation within the two-year deadline. Finally, there are separate immigration benefits available if your spouse was a member of the military and was killed in combat.

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