What Can You Do if the Sponsor in Your Case Dies Before You Receive Your “Green Card”?
Normally, a pending “green card” petition is automatically cancelled if the petitioner dies during the processing of the case, unless the surviving beneficiary was the spouse of a U.S. citizen or a battered spouse who could self-petition based on other requirements. But under 204(l), other surviving family members may be eligible to continue the processing of the visa or green card if they are:
- Principal or derivative beneficiary of a Petition for Alien Relative (Form I-130) regardless of whether the petitioner was a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, and the petitioner died;
- Derivative beneficiary of a family petition and the principal beneficiary died;
- Derivative beneficiary of a Petition for Alien Worker (Form I-140) and the principal beneficiary died;
- Beneficiary of a Form I-730, Refugee/Asylee Relative Petition, and the petitioner died;
- Derivative beneficiary of T or U visa or asylum and the principal visa holder or asylee died.
If you fall into one of the categories above and you are present in the U.S., then you may be eligible to request that the Immigration Service (USCIS) continues processing the case after your sponsor’s death.
The request to the Service will change depending on the progress of the application when the relative died. Also, you do not have a right to have the application processed, but rather it depends on the Service’s discretion based on the arguments in your case. To be approved, you must include evidence of positive factors showing why you should be an exception to the normal rule. You might also need a substitute financial sponsor and a waiver for inadmissibility. For these reasons, it is best to consult an experienced immigration attorney to figure out how to properly request relief under Section 204(l).
Contact our Attorneys at the Law Offices of Scott Warmuth today with questions about this article or any other questions involving immigration or other legal matters. If you mention this article, your consultation with an attorney will be free. Call today: 1-888-517-9888.