Memo on Granting Deferred Action Widow Penalty Victims

Acting on the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Napolitano’s announcement of granting deferred action for two years to alien widow(er)s of U.S. citizens and their children, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Acting Associate Director, Donald Neufeld issued a guidance memo to field leadership to clarify it.                                                                         

Based on the deferred action, this policy guidance covers only                                  
  1. Surviving spouses of U.S. citizens who died before the second anniversary of the marriage, who have remained not remarried and were not legally separated from the citizen spouse at the time the citizen’s death, and who are residing in the U.S., and 
  2. Such surviving spouses’ qualifying children.
Notably, the validity period of deferred action based on the policy guidance set forth in this memo is two (2) years from the date of grant of the Form I-360 request for deferred action. The memo further spells out different situations and suggests various recourses, and appropriate actions to be performed by field offices and service centers regarding the processing of surviving spouses of deceased U.S. citizens and their qualifying children. USCIS has issued the policy guidance in order to address humanitarian concerns arising from cases involving surviving spouses of U.S. citizens.
Click Here to See the memo available on internet at

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