When Immigration Matters

"Widows Penalty" Abolished by Obama

Posted by Michael Pollak on Oct 29, 2009 2:17:00 PM

President ObamaPresident Obama abolishes the "Widows Penalty" allowing widows of U.S. citizens married less than two years to apply for Green Cards.

Yesterday, President Obama signed a bill into law that ends a controversial interpretation of federal law, known as the "widow penalty." The clause required a couple be married at least two years in order for the foreign spouse to qualify for legal residency in the U.S. That had thrown several hundred immigrants whose spouses had died before the two-year minimum into illegal status.  The provision passed this month removes the two-year marriage requirement, permitting widows and widowers of U.S. citizens to apply for a green card for themselves and on behalf of their children born abroad.  These spouses do not have to be presently living in the United States and immigration petitions do not have to have been previously filed by the deceased U.S. citizen spouse. 

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Tags: Widow Penalty, Green Card, Immigration

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