WASHINGTON - U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) today issued
guidance on requesting deferred action for surviving spouses of U.S. citizens
who died before the second anniversary of their marriage. Surviving spouses
qualify for this temporary program if they were married to, but not legally
separated from, their U.S. citizen spouse at the time of that spouse's
death; did not remarry; and are currently residing in the United States.
Surviving spouses qualify for deferred action regardless of whether the
U.S. citizen spouse filed a Form I-130 petition for them. Surviving spouses
may ask to have their qualifying children included in their deferred action
request. To be considered a "qualifying child" of a surviving
spouse, the child must be younger than age 21 or otherwise qualify as
a child when the deferred action request is submitted; currently reside
in the United States; and be unmarried.
USCIS has revised the instructions to the Forms I-360, Petition for Amerasian,
Widow(er), or Special Immigrant, I-765, Application for Employment Authorization,
and I-131, Application for Travel Document, as they relate to this temporary
Surviving spouses who apply for deferred action will need to file Form
I-360 with supporting documentation and the $375 filing fee with the Vermont
Work authorization will be available to surviving spouses and qualifying
children who are granted deferred action and who can establish economic
necessity. Form I-765 is used for this purpose (separate applications
are required for each person seeking work authorization).
Travel authorization will also be available to surviving spouses and qualified
children granted deferred action under this program.
USCIS has posted on the Web, an accompanying list of questions and answers
and a fact sheet about this program. For additional information about
this and other immigration services, please call the National Customer
Service Center at (800) 375-5283, or visit our homepage.