Monday, July 11, 2011

Chicago Immigration Attorney | You Don't Have to Leave Because your Spouse Died!

The Problem: You Marry a U.S. Citizen and are living in the U.S. but your spouse dies in an accident. Your Spouse has not filed a qualifying family member I-130 petition.

The Old Result: TOO BAD. You do not Qualify for a self petition or adjustment of status.

New Laws Result: You Can Self Petition!

This is extremely exciting news for many widows and widowers throughout the  U.S. The reason is that many spouses who would otherwise receive their Permanent Resident Status if their spouse was still alive were being deported. Under the new law, if you Timely file your application for a "green card", you can ride on the application, or potential application, of your deceased spouse.

This will allow many families to continue their dream to live in America, even in the event of an untimely death of their U.S. family "anchor". Section 204(l) of the Immigration and Nationality Act now allows Immediate Family Members and Derivative Family Members the importunity to petition for permanent resident status.

The Caveat: You must be a resident in the U.S.

The residency requirement means that you must have established yourself inside of the U.S. before your spouse passes. In order to establish residency, things such as a home purchase, school registration or a job help show that you intended to remain inside the U.S.

What should you take from this law?

You can stay inside the U.S., even if your citizen spouse passes away. BUT You must act quickly to ensure that your time to petition does not expire. You should call an immigration attorney who can help you with your petition for lawful permanent residence status. If you are in the Chicago-land area call:

Law Office of Jonathan W. Cole
5013 W. 95th St. 
Oak Lawn, IL 60453
(708) 529-7794

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