Deadline Approaching for Certain Widow(er)s to File I-360

The deadline is fast approaching for widows and widowers who were not previously eligible to self-petition for immediate relative status to re-file the I-360. Two years ago, the Department of Homeland Security Act abolished the requirement that widows and widowers were required to be married “for at least two years” from INA Section201(b)(2)(A)(i) to be able to self petition for immediate relative status. This was a landmark change in the law, changing the nature of marriage and the I-360. The Department of Homeland Security, recognizing the law’s impact, instated Public Law 111-83, to provide a transition period for those widows and widowers who were married less than two years before the change in law on October 28, 2009. In other words, all widows and widowers who were denied the opportunity to self-petition at the time of death of their spouses because they did not meet the two year requirement have been granted the opportunity to re-file the I-360.

            The transition period is quickly coming to an end at the end of this month! All widows and widowers who previously did not qualify to self petition have until October 28, 2011 to re-open or re-apply for the I-360 application they did not have access to before. Note that the immigration process does not have to be completed by this date; only the application is due. This is a hard deadline, so it is imperative to file as soon as possible to make sure you are getting the benefits you are entitled to.



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