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Lane
Lane, JD, CFP, MBA, CRPS
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 10135
Experience:  Law Degree, specialization in Tax Law and Corporate Law, CFP and MBA, Providing Financial & Tax advice since 1986
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My cousin was married to a man with a residency status in

Customer Question

My cousin was married to a man with a residency status in the USA, She remained in Mexico. He has died, leaving her his surviving spouse.The Social Security Administration says she must come to the USA and reside for 30 days in order to claim the Survivors Benefit. However, when she tried to get a visa to enter the USA for this reason, she was denied. How can she claim the benefit due her if she cannot get a visa?
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Immigration Law
Expert:  Lane replied 5 months ago.

Hi,

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I'm so sorry, but if she cannot get a sponsor under the various and sundry ways to get visa's, she'll have to apply for permanent resident status.

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While there are about 185 different types of visas, there are two main categories of U.S. visas:

  • Nonimmigrant visa - for temporary visits such as for tourism, business, work or studying.
  • Immigrant visa - for people to immigrate to the United States.

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But becasue of a change in the immigration law in 2009, a non-citizen widow may apply for permanent residency status, no matter how long she was married to a US citizen.

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See this:

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https://www.uscis.gov/green-card/green-card-through-family/green-card-through-special-categories-family/widower#card

Expert:  Expert James replied 5 months ago.

For what kind of visa did she apply?

Expert:  Lane replied 5 months ago.

Hi, original expert here again.

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Using a Visa to do this will continue to cause problems .. not staying IN the country will nalways cause problems with payment.

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The special category greencard (a form of permanent residence that can happen without her needing to be PHYSICALLY present) will allow the payemtns to continue uninterrupted.

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Part of the legislative intent of this (relatively new law) was to allow those owed Social Security Survivors benefits to be able to get them.

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See this:

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Eligibility Criteria

You may be eligible to receive a green card through widow/widower status if you:

  • Were married to a U.S. citizen or tax resident at the time he or she passed away
  • Either have a pending or approved Form I-130 or you have filed a Form
  • I-360 within 2 years of your spouse’s death (or no later than October 28, 2011, if your citizen spouse died before October 28, 2009, and you were married less than 2 years).
  • Are not remarried
  • Were not divorced or legally separated from your spouse at the time he or she died
  • Are able to prove that you were in a bona fide marital relationship until the time of your spouse’s death
  • Are admissible to the United States
Expert:  Lane replied 5 months ago.

FYI, I just checked and although there have been talks with Mexico sinc 2004 about a totalization agreement (Social Security treaty), we;ve never been able to come to a treaty (which would have taken away the issue that her social security would only come for six months and the would stop again once she leaves the country)

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So, again, the visa is really only a band-aid. I'd strongly recommend that she look into the special permament resident status for spouses, as a more permanent solution.

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Please let me know if you have any questions at all.

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If this HAS helped, and you DON’T have other questions … I'd appreciate a positive rating (using the faces or stars on your screen, and then clicking “submit")

JustAnswer will not credit me for the work unless you do.

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Thank you!

Lane

I have a law degree, (Juris Doctorate), with concentration in Tax Law, Estate law & Corporate law, an MBA, with specialization in financial accounting & tax, a BBA, and CFP & CRPS designations, as well - I’ve been providing financial, Social Security/Medicare, estate, corporate, non-profit, and tax advice, since 1986

Expert:  Lane replied 5 months ago.

Hi,

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I’m just checking back in to see how things are going.

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Did my answer help?

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Let me know…

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Thanks

Lane