How do I apply for relief under INA Section 204(l)?

When you request section 204(l) relief, you must include:

  • Your name, your deceased relative’s name, and the names of any other beneficiaries on the same petition;
  • Your alien registration number (A-number), if you have one;
  • Your deceased relative’s A-number, if he or she had one;
  • The A-number for any other beneficiaries, if they have one;
  • The receipt number on your petition or application;
  • Your relative’s death certificate (a certified translation is required, if not in English);
  • Proof of your residence (examples include, but are not limited to: lease/mortgage, utility bills, pay stubs, school records, etc.) at the time of your relative’s death up until the present time (note: only one of the beneficiaries on a petition with derivatives needs to meet the residence requirement); and
  • Form I-864, Affidavit of Support Under Section 213A of the Act, from a substitute sponsor or Form I-864W, Intending Immigrant’s Affidavit of Support Exemption, if applicable.

If your Form I-130 was pending when your relative died and at least one beneficiary, or derivative beneficiary, resided in the United States when your relative died and continues to reside in the United States then send your written request to the USCIS office currently processing your case (the address is on the receipt notice (Form I-797) or, if USCIS transferred the case to a different office, send your request to the new office listed on the transfer notice).

If your Form I-130 was already approved when your relative died AND you are not ready and/or able to file Form I-485 yet, then send your written request to the office that approved your petition.

If your petition was already approved when your relative died AND you have a visa available and are ready to file Form I-485, send your written request with your Form I-485 package per Instructions for Form I-485.

If you have already filed Form I-485 (whether or not your petition was pending or already approved) then send your written request to the USCIS office having jurisdiction over your application.

Author: Mark

A U.S. immigration lawyer. Legal Services available in Arabic and Russian.

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