The requirement that widow(er)s of U.S. citizens be married at least two years at the time of death to be eligible to self-petition for immediate relative status was abolished in October 28, 2009; widow(er)s of U.S. citizens married any length of time can file an I-360 self-petition for immediate relative status, but must still file within two years of the death. Individuals married to a U.S. citizen for less than 2 years whose spouse died prior to October 29, 2009 can still be eligible for a green card but must file the I-360 petition no later than October 28, 2011. For example, a widow who was married in 1999 and whose spouse died in 2000 could still be eligible for a green card if an I-360 is filed before October 28, 2011. This deadline is critical because if the widow(er) misses the deadline, she or he would lose the ability to qualify for a green card based on the death of his or her U.S. citizen spouse. The I-360 must be filed by the deadline but the immigration process does not need to be completed by October 28, 2011. More information can be found on the USCIS website: http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/menuitem.5af9bb95919f35e66f614176543f6d1a/?vgnextoid=67eba65290e62310VgnVCM100000082ca60aRCRD&vgnextchannel=e7801c2c9be44210VgnVCM100000082ca60aRCRD.
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