If my petitioning relative dies, can I still immigrate?

You may be eligible to seek relief under INA Section 204(l) which permits the approval of a relative petition as well as any adjustment application if you:
– Resided in the US when the qualifying relative died;
– Continues to reside in the US on the date of the decision on the pending petition or application; and is at least one of the following:
* the beneficiary of a pending or approved immediate relative visa petition;
* the beneficiary of a pending or approved family-based visa petition, including both the principal beneficiary and any derivative beneficiaries.

The requirements for section 204(l) relief are the same, regardless of whether the petition or application was pending or approved when your relative died. If a case is pending or approved, you can make the request to USCIS. The information we need to process your request is the same. The way we process requests for relief is slightly different, however.

If your relative dies while the petition is pending, you should specifically ask USCIS “to approve the petition under section 204(l),” despite your relative’s death.

If your relative dies after the petition (for example, Forms I-130 or I-140) is approved, you should specifically ask USCIS “to reinstate the approval of the petition under section 204(l).”

Author: Mark

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

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