Immigration Petitioner Died! Now What?

Losing a loved one is difficult, and being told that your visa will also be lost is too much to deal with. The good news in all of this is that there are ways to prevent your visa from being taken away from you if the person who petitioned for you passes away.

Key things to keep in mind to avoid this problem are that the law states that if person who files a visa petition for their relative dies, the visa will be taken away the same day the petitioner dies. Moreover, USCIS can make the decision of whether or not it is right to take away the visa based on humanitarian reasons.

USCIS can only reconsider the situation if the person who was petitioned to come to the U.S asks USCIS to renew the approval. Furthermore, he/she must show proof that there is someone else who qualifies for the affidavit of support.

The person who will serve as a substitute needs to live in the U.S, and be a citizen or resident. The income requirements must all be met by that person. Lastly, the substitute has to be related to the person who needs the petition to be renewed.

The way this is done is by sending a final request to immigration. There is no need to pay for the request and there is no specific period of time in which this must be done. However, the request needs to be sent before USCIS cancels the visa.

The request must state the reasons for renewed approval; it must contain the new financial affidavit along with all the supporting documentation, and proof that the substitute petitioner resides in the U.S. The immigrant also has the burden of clearly explaining all humanization considerations that immigration should consider.

USCIS will take into consideration the effect of having the visa taken away on the family living in the U.S. In addition the age of petitioner, health status, time of residence, and ties to his or her home country will also be looked into.

In the case of spouses dealing with this issue, what is needed to know is that if the spouse who petitions were to pass away, the other spouse may petition for their self through the I-360 form. The spouse who died must be have been a U.S citizen, filed an I-130 form, show marriage is genuine, and cannot have been separated legally at the time of petitioner’s death. Take into consideration that the law does not give benefits to a person who remarries after his or her spouse dies.

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