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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Bill passes eliminating two year wait penalty for widows of U.S. Citizens

Today Congress passed a bill that ends what has become known as the “widow penalty”. It required a U.S. citizen to be married at least two years to their foreign spouse before the foreign spouse could receive legal residency.

According to an article from the Wall Street Journal, the elimination of the two-year marriage requirement permits widows and widowers of U.S. citizens to apply for a green card for themselves and on behalf of their children born abroad.

Under the 71 year-old law, it is believed that thousands have been deported. The article points out that there are currently about 200 spouses trying to stave off deportation.

The passage of the bill, according to an attorney who has been helping victims of the 71 year old law, changes the widows' situation from “being in the shadows and fearing a knock on the door by an immigration agent to leading productive lives with their families”.



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