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Blandon Law Immigration

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Widow Penalty Gone


     Gratefully, I could not rely on any textbook for this part of my studies.  According to the books, the death of a U.S. citizen spouse automatically terminates the foreign spouse’s chance for becoming a legal permanent resident (LPR) based on that relationship if they were married for less than two years.  Fortunately, a new law was passed by President Obama on October 28, 2009, obliterating the widow penalty.
     Now foreigners can become LPR years after their US citizen spouse died even though the US citizen’s petition was initially denied by Immigration or the U.S. citizen never filed a petition on the foreign spouse's behalf.  CIS agreed that it will not remove, or deport, widows or their children even if they are currently in unlawful status. In addition, the following already-filed applications will be adjudicated by CIS despite the death of the principal: immediate relative, family preference petitions, employment-based dependents, T and U nonimmigrants, and asylum and asylee relative petitions.  Surprise: as with everything immigration, there are deadlines and exceptions, but if this applies to anyone you know, pass it on now.

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