Green Card (Permanent Resident Card) for a Widow(er) of a U.S. Citizen
If you are a widow or widower and were married to a U.S. citizen at the time of their death, you may be eligible to apply for a Permanent Resident Card (commonly called a Green Card).
The process depends on the conditions you file under. Generally, you may be eligible to receive a Green Card if you:
- Were married to a U.S. citizen when they died;
- Either have a pending or approved Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative or have filed Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant within two years of your spouse’s death (or no later than Oct. 28, 2011, if your citizen spouse died before Oct. 28, 2009, and you were married less than two years);
- Are not remarried; and
- Are admissible to the United States.
Widow(er) With a Pending or Approved Immigrant Petition
If you were married to a U.S. citizen who filed Form I-130 for you before they died, you do not need to file anything. We will automatically convert their Form I-130 to a Form I-360. To qualify, you must not 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.
If you live in the United States, you may file Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, with your Form I-360 or after you file Form I-360 (or if your converted Form I-130), whether it is pending or approved. If you already filed Form I-485 based on the petition your spouse filed, we will continue to process this application and you do not need to file another one.
If you live outside the United States, we will forward your approved form overseas to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate that has jurisdiction over where you live. For more information, see our Consular Processing page.
Children of Widow(er) of a U.S. Citizen
If you have children (unmarried and under age 21), they may be included on Form I-360 regardless of whether your deceased spouse had filed a petition for them.
Widow(er) of a U.S. Service Member
If you are a surviving spouse of deceased U.S. service members who was killed in combat, there are separate immigration benefits under section 1703 of Public Law 108-136. You may self-petition for “immediate relative” status on Form I-360.
For more information, visit our Widow(er) page.
How to File
- Read the instructions for Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant;
- Complete and sign your Form I-360;
- Pay the filing fee, if applicable; and
- Provide all required evidence and supporting documentation.
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After You File
Once we receive your form, you will receive a:
- Receipt notice of your form;
- Biometric services notice, if applicable;
- Notice to appear for an interview, if required; and
- Notice of our decision.