Frequently Asked Questions On Immigration
Death Causes DelayQ. My US. citizen wife died after I became a permanent resident Can I apply for citizenship with only three years' permanent residence? My wife and I married in November 1995, filed for my residence in March 1996, and I became a conditional permanent resident in September 1997. While the INS was processing my case, my wife became terminally ill. Soon after the INS had granted me permanent residence, my wife died. That was last year. I meet all other qualifications for U.S. citizenship.
A. You'll have to wait until five years from the day the INS approved your conditional permanent residence before you can get your U.S. citizenship. The death of your spouse ended your right to qualify under the three-year exception for the spouse of a U.S.-citizen. You won't qualify until September 2003. You can apply 90 days before your qualifying date. Don't file any sooner. If you do, the INS will deny your application.
(By Alan Wernick)
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