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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawUS Immigration LawCan the Widow or Widower of a US Citizen Apply for a Marriage Visa?

Can the Widow or Widower of a US Citizen Apply for a Marriage Visa?

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggest, we are going to be discussing US Marriage Visas, specifically in the context of widows and widowers. It is an unfortunate fact of life, but death does occur, and widows and widowers of American citizens may be accorded an ability to file for Immigration benefits notwithstanding that their spouse predeceased the filing. Let me be clear. This is different than having a spouse who passes away while a filing is processing; after a filing has been made. There is another video on this channel I made contemporaneously with this one that specifically speaks to that issue. But in this video, we are talking specifically about folks, foreign nationals, who lost an American citizen spouse prior to filing for a marriage visa to the United States.

Quoting directly from USCIS.gov, “Widows or widowers who were married to US citizens at the time of the citizen’s death, may apply for a Green Card. Until October 28, 2009, you had to have been married to the deceased citizen for at least 2 years at the time of the deceased citizen’s death in order to emigrate as the widow or widower of a US citizen. Congress removed this requirement effective October 28, 2009.” To emigrate as the widow or widower of a citizen, you must prove that you are legally married to the citizen, that you entered the marriage in good faith and not solely to obtain an immigration benefit”. As discussed in another video on this channel

Marriage fraud is serious stuff. Don’t get involved in that under any circumstances.  But it has been my experience that most cases involving a widow or widower of an American citizen are rather tragic frankly in how they play out. In the past as noted, there were previous rules prior to October, 2009, with regard to how this played out and there was even a clash within the circuits of the United States court system with respect to how one dealt with widows and widowers in the context of adjustment of status. All of this stuff has been pretty well ironed out now and as noted in this specific quotation from USCIS, “so long as the individual was married to their UZS Citizen prior to their death”, that individual basically has 2 years to go ahead and apply for Immigration benefits to the United States and then thereafter will process through very similar to just a standard case for a US marriage visa benefit.