This guide is intended for widowed immigrants seeking to obtain an immigration benefit through their deceased spouse.
To immigrate as the widow(er) of a citizen, you must prove the following: 1. you were legally married to the citizen, 2. you entered the marriage in good faith, and not solely to obtain an immigration benefit.
Widow(er) with a Pending Immigrant Petition
If you were married to a U.S. citizen who had filed Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative for you before he or she died, you do not need to file anything. The Form I-130 will be automatically converted to a Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant. Further, you must not have have been divorced or legally separated from the U.S. citizen at the time of death. Your eligibility to immigrate as a widow(er) ends if you have remarried.
Widow(er) without a Pending Immigrant Petition
If you were married to U.S. citizen before the citizen’s death, but had no I-130 petition filed on your behalf, you can self-petition as an “immediate relative” on Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant. To qualify, you must not have been divorced or legally separated from the U.S. citizen at the time of death. You must file within 2 years of the citizen’s death.
Options for Widow(er)s Living Inside the U.S.
You must file Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, either at the same time you file your Form I-360 or after you file the Form I-360 whether it is pending or approved. If you already filed Form I-485, USCIS will continue to process this application.The application should include the following:Two passport-style photos
Form G-325A, Biographic Information
Copy of your birth certificate
Copy of your passport page with nonimmigrant visa (if applicable)
Copy of passport page with admission
Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record (if applicable)
Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record
Form I-130 receipt notice or approval letter (Form I-797), if applicable; or
Form I-360 with all required documents, if filing at the same time (concurrently) with Form I-485
If not filing concurrently, Form I-360 receipt notice or approval letter (Form I-797)