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Immigration Options for Family Members of Deceased Service Members

Immigration Options for Family Members of Deceased Service Members

Naturalization Benefits for Family Members of Deceased USC Service Members

According to INA §319(d), if your U.S. citizen spouse, child or parent died while serving honorably, during a period of active duty, you may be able to waive the naturalization residency and physical presence requirements, if the following conditions are met:

  • You were a lawful permanent resident;
  • In the case of a surviving spouse, you must have been living with your U.S. citizen spouse and not have been legally separated; although, even if the spouse remarries, they will remain eligible for naturalization;
  • This provision also applies to family members of military members who received citizenship posthumously.

Lawful Permanent Residency Options for Family Members of Deceased USC Service Members

Spouses, Parents, and Children of Deceased U.S. citizen service members

Self-Petitioning

Spouses, parents, and children of deceased U.S. citizen service members may self-petition for lawful permanent residency, as immediate relatives, on behalf of themselves if the following circumstances are met:

  1. The U.S. citizen served honorably;
  1. The U.S. citizen died as a result of injury or disease incurred in or aggravated by combat;
  1. The petition is filed within two years of the citizen’s death.

Spouses who were legally separated at the time of death do not qualify. Additionally, spouses who remarry during the application process will be disqualified.

A child of a U.S. citizen may self-petition as an immediate relative even if s/he has turned 21 or married.

The parent of a deceased U.S. citizen may self-petition as an immediate relative even if the USC was under 21 at the time of death.

U.S. Citizen Service Member Filed I-130 & Family Member Filed I-485

Spouses, parents, and children of deceased U.S. citizen service members, for whom an adjustment application was filed before their death of the deceased service member, will survive their death. The service member must have died because of an injury or disease incurred in or aggravated by combat.

Additionally, this provision may be used in the case of a service member obtaining citizenship posthumously.

Additionally, the public charge ground of inadmissibility does not apply to applicants under either provision above.

Spouses, Parents, and Children of Posthumous U.S. citizen service members

Spouses, parents, and children of military members who received posthumous citizenship can self-petition for lawful permanent residency, as an immediate relative, if they file within two years of the service member's death and have not remarried. The service member must have served honorably, in active duty, and died as a result of injury or disease incurred in or aggravated by combat.

If you are a non-citizen whose family member died while in active U.S. military duty, please contact an immigration attorney who is trustworthy and knowledgeable! Our attorneys at Landerholm Immigration, APC, have extensive experience in cases involving immigration benefits for members of the military and their family members. Please call us at 510-488-1020 to see how we can help!

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