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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 3963
Experience:  Private practice in several areas, including immigration
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What is immigration law regarding a person who is not a U.S.

Customer Question

What is immigration law regarding a person who is not a U.S. citizen, legally marries a U.S. citizen, then the couple moves to the U.S. and the American spouse dies in two months after their arrival. What is the status of the surviving spouse?
JA: Have you filed any paperwork with the USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services) yet?
Customer: oh yes, the visa because of a bonafide marriage was granted and the non-American spouse entered the U.S. legally.
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer yet?
Customer: No...
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: Only that this is a legal same sex marriage granted in Canada, approved in the U.K. and of course now legal in the U.S.
Submitted: 29 days ago.
Category: Immigration Law
Expert:  Jen Marie, Esq. replied 29 days ago.

Hello, my name is***** & I will be the immigration attorney helping you today. I'm reviewing your question and will be with you in a few minutes.

Expert:  Jen Marie, Esq. replied 29 days ago.

Under what status did the foreigner enter the US? Were they granted an immigrant visa or entered as a tourist or another visa?

Customer: replied 29 days ago.
not certain but believe they were granted a visa based upon their legal marriage. Approved by the U.S. Embassy in London.
Customer: replied 29 days ago.
sure that it was not a tourist visa....
Customer: replied 29 days ago.
Main question is: does it make any difference if it was an immigrant visa or what other visa might there be? In either case, is there a time limit for a required renewal in view of the American citizen having died during their first two months of arrival in the U.S.?
Customer: replied 29 days ago.
are you there?
Customer: replied 29 days ago.
Should I be waiting?
Expert:  Jen Marie, Esq. replied 29 days ago.

I would really need to know in order to give you a correct answer because it would completely change my answer. If he entered with a CR-1 immigrant visa, then the foreigner still remains a US permanent resident even if the spouse died because he already had his status granted. First I need you to confirm that.

Expert:  Jen Marie, Esq. replied 29 days ago.

Whether there is a time limit completely depends on the foreigner's status when he/she entered the US. Once you give me that information I can give you a precise answer.

Customer: replied 29 days ago.
Therefore, if he has a CR-1 visa, then does that indicate that he will not have to renew the visa in 6 months, etc.?
Expert:  Jen Marie, Esq. replied 29 days ago.

Exactly. If he has a CR-1 visa then he only needs to apply to remove conditions in 2 years with form I-751 which he can do even if his spouse died.

I am stepping away a few minutes, but I will not abandon you. Try to get me that information and I will continue answering you when I return if you have additional questions.

Customer: replied 29 days ago.
At the present time, I am unable to know whether he has a CR-1 visa. I will find out and get back on this site at a later time. Thank you very much for your assistance....
Expert:  Jen Marie, Esq. replied 29 days ago.

You're very welcome. The question will remain open so once you have more info, come back and we can continue.

Expert:  Jen Marie, Esq. replied 28 days ago.

Just checking if you were able to get the information.

Customer: replied 27 days ago.
Haven't found out that information as yet. Question: How could I find it out without asking the individual? Will INS provide the answer? Is there a public record? thanks....
Expert:  Jen Marie, Esq. replied 27 days ago.

No unfortunately there is not away. That is not public record. The information is only given to the actual individual who is in question.

Customer: replied 27 days ago.
okay. thanks...
Expert:  Jen Marie, Esq. replied 27 days ago.

You're welcome.