A blog about U.S. immigration matters by Paul Szeto, a former INS attorney and an experienced immigration attorney and counsel. Contact Info: 732-632-9888, http://www.1visa1.com/ (All information is not legal advice and is subject to change without prior notice.)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Eligible Widows Must File Self Petition by October 28, 2011

USCIS reminds certain eligible widows or widowers of deceased U.S. citizens to file their visa petitions by October 28, 2011 - the deadline imposed by the FY2010 DHS Appropriations Act.  This Act, signed into law by the President on October 28, 2009, removed the requirement that the marriage must have existed for two years before the death of the U.S. citizen spouse in order for the surviving spouse to self-petition for lawful permanent residence status.  The elimination of the so-called "widow penalty" also allows any minor children of the widow(er) to apply for status.  However, the law imposed a two-year deadline to file the petition.  Applicants whose U.S. citizen spouse died on or after October 28, 2009 will
have two years from the date of the citizen spouse's death to file a
Form I-360 petition. For whose applicants whose U.S. citizen spouse died before October 28, 2009, and if they did not have a Form I-130 visa petition pending on October 28, 2009, they must file the I-360 visa petition on or before October 28, 2011.

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