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Green Card for Surviving relatives of U.S. Citizen Service Members

By November 17, 2022Immigration
A happy family

The spouse, child or parent of a U.S. Citizen may be eligible for adjustment of status to legal permanent resident “LPR” status also known as a green card if the family member of the U.S. service member is considered an immediate relative.

Spouses of a deceased service member is considered an immediate relative if:

  • The service member spouse served honorably in an active-duty status in the U.S. armed forces.
  • The service member spouse died as a result of injury or disease incurred in or aggravated by combat.
  • The noncitizen spouse was not legally separated from the service member spouse at the time of death.
  • The noncitizen spouse filed form I-360 within two years of the service member spouse’s death.
  • The noncitizen spouse did not remarry before obtaining LPR status based on the relationship to the service member spouse.

A child or parent of deceased service member will be considered an immediate relative if:

  • The service member relative served honorably in an active-duty status in the U.S. armed forces.
  • The service member died as a result of injury or disease incurred in or aggravated by combat.
  • The noncitizen child of parent files the I-360 petition within two years of the service member’s death.

It should be noted that the noncitizen family member must still meet all eligibility requirements for a green card. Therefore, any bars to adjustment of status to a green card may still apply to disqualify the noncitizen from applying for the green card through the adjustment of status process. We discuss the adjustment of status process here. We also discuss the bars to adjustment of status here.

It is possible that some surviving relatives may not be able to qualify for adjustment of status based on the fact that entered without being inspected into the United States. There is potentially an option to overcome this eligibility through a process called Parole in Place we will discuss in a future post.

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