Reinstating Visa Petition Due to Deceased Petitioner
With immigrant visa waiting times lasting ten or fifteen years in some cases, it is not uncommon for the petitioner to pass away between the time the I-130 visa petition is filed and when the priority date becomes current. For example, an US citizen parent might file a Form I-130 Visa Petition for an adult son or daughter. It could take ten or fifteen years before the visa petition becomes current, and the alien son or daughter is able to immigrate. If the US citizen petitioner passes away during that time, the approved visa petition is automatically revoked. The alien son or daughter is left with no pathway to immigrating to the United States unless the alien's other parent or a brother or sister can petition for him/her. Even if the other parent or sibling is a US citizen, it could take ten or fifteen more years until the alien can immigrate.
There is one other option available. Following the passage of the Family Sponsor Immigration Act, it is possible to ask the government to reinstate the revoked visa petition due to humanitarian reasons. In order to succeed with a reinstatement request, the beneficiary must satisfy several requirements. First, the visa petition must have been approved prior to the petitioner's death. If the visa petition was filed, but USCIS did not issue an approval notice, reinstatement is not possible. Second, the beneficiary must find a substitute sponsor willing to sign an affidavit of support. The affidavit of support is a promise made by the petitioner or another individual stating that s/he will be responsible for the alien beneficiary's financial support should it become necessary. In many cases, the petitioner is the sponsor signing the affidavit of support. If the petitioner dies, the beneficiary must find another sponsor willing to promise. The substitute sponsor must satisfy certain income requirements in order to sign the affidavit of support. Third, the beneficiary must show that humanitarian reasons exist which favor the reinstating of the revoked visa petition. The humanitarian analysis is complex and time-consuming. USCIS will look at several factors to determine whether they should reinstate the visa petition.
Reinstatement of Revoked Visa Petition cases are difficult to win, but hiring an experienced immigration attorney to prepare the legal brief and supporting evidence is crucial. Contact The Nuñez Firm to schedule a confidential consultation. Managing attorney Jay Nuñez has handled numerous visa petition reinstatement cases, and he will be able to give you an honest and realistic assessment of whether your case can win.
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