Nowadays, U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents who are sponsoring family members to immigrate to the United States, are questioning: What happens if I die? Would my death end the immigration process?

Well, it depends. In 2009, Congress addressed this scenario with a new statutory provision, INA 204(l). This provision gave noncitizens the ability to seek an immigration benefit through a deceased qualifying relative in certain circumstances.

You might still have the opportunity to get your green card approval. The success of your case depends on your relationship to that person, whether you have relatives in the United States who are willing to serve as financial sponsors, and where you currently live.

Widows or Widowers of a U.S. Citizen

If you were married to a U.S. citizen, you have good chances to get your green card approval, even if your husband/wife dies before filing a Form I-130 petition with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), or dies before the petition was approved.

You can continue and file the I-360 petition no later than two years after the death of your U.S. citizen spouse. Also, you should not marry again before your green card gets approved.

If the U.S. citizen spouse got as far as filing an I-130 petition on your behalf before the death. You can proceed with the green card application, but you need to notify USCIS of the U.S. citizen spouse’s death.

Other Relatives

A noncitizen’s deceased relative must meet the definition of qualifying relative in order for the noncitizen to be eligible to continue to seek an immigration benefit through that person. If your relative is not your spouse, he/she should find a substitute financial sponsor, and pursue something called humanitarian reinstatement, which is a discretionary form of relief available to the principal beneficiary of an approved Form I-130, that was approved by USCIS before the petitioner’s death..

If your sponsor has died, the best thing you can do is to consult with an immigration attorney. You can schedule a FREE Immigration Screening, here; select your preferred language, date and time. We offer consultation over the phone and online.

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@taghaviimmigrationlaw Contact us at the link in bio! #greencard #visasponsor #visasponsorship #attorney #usimmigration #uscitizenship ♬ original sound – Soulmaz Taghavi, Esq.