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Top Los Angeles Immigration Attorneys Discuss Humanitarian Reinstatement

Humanitarian Reinstatement / Revalidation

For those looking to legally enter the United States, obtaining a green card can, at times, feel like a monumental task. This difficulty is only compounded if the relative sponsoring the immigrant dies amidst the process. If you are one of the unfortunate few who successfully completed a Form I-130 only to have your sponsor die shortly thereafter, you have a couple options – and you'll need to act quickly.

The Immigration Law Office of Los Angeles, P.C. understands the obstacles you're up against and stands ready to assist. For over 15 years, Attorney Scott McVarish and his experienced staff of immigration attorneys have been representing and fighting for people in situations just as dire, if not more so, than your own. If you are struggling with reinstatement or revalidation, don't let another day go by – contact our firm for a confidential consultation.

Call (800) 792-9889 or use our online contact form to schedule an appointment.

What is Humanitarian Reinstatement?

A United States citizen, with family living overseas or the United States who also wish to immigrate into the country, may help their relatives begin their journey by filing a Form I-130 or Petition for Alien Relative with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Through this application and its supporting documentation, the U.S. citizen assumes financial and legal responsibility of their family member once the application is approved and a visa number is assigned.

However, if said sponsoring family member dies after the Form I-130 has been approved the prospective immigrant will need to request a humanitarian reinstatement. In essence, this is a straightforward request to the USCIS that seeks to continue the process that was cut short by the death of their sponsor. It is important to keep in mind that the USCIS will only consider a humanitarian reinstatement after the initial I-130 has been approved – not prior to or during its preliminary review.

How Do I Apply for Humanitarian Reinstatement?

Unfortunately, or fortunately depending on how you look at it, there is no dedicated form to this process. While there are specific documents and supplemental materials that must accompany your appeal, the request itself is generally a typed letter. That said some of the supporting documentation that must be attached to your packet includes:

  • A copy of your approved Form I - 130 that was ultimately revoked following your petitioners death or the receipt number on your petition
  • Your relative's death certificate
  • A USCIS "affidavit of support" or a Form I-864. Because your original advocate is now deceased, you'll need a substitute sponsor to complete the immigration process. This substitute must also be a U.S. citizen, over 18 years of age and a direct relation of yours or through marriage. Additionally, your new sponsor must successfully prove they have the capacity to care for you financially when you finally arrive.
  • Proof of your substitute's relation to you, usually by birth certificate or marriage license.

How Does USCIS Determine My Eligibility?

Unlike many of their other processes, determining whether or not you are eligible for a humanitarian reinstatement is entirely at the discretion of the USCIS; there is no set guideline or score sheet. However, the final section of the Form I-864 offers applicants a chance to detail their story and explain why exactly they are requesting reinstatement. Again, while there is no set rulebook, some of the more common reasons the USCIS tends to look favorably upon include:

  • The impact of keeping the family unit separated, especially if a U.S. citizen or family is unable to be with the rest of their immediate relatives
  • You are elderly or in failing health
  • If you have already resided, either legally or illegally, in the United States for some time
  • If your current connection to home is strained at best, menacing at worst
  • If the USCIS has spent an inordinate amount of time processing your request and failed to update you in a timely fashion

Should I Contact an Immigration Attorney?

The immigration process is one fraught with complicated requirements and complicated instructions. The Immigration Law Office of Los Angeles, P.C. is entirely dedicated to helping you receive the legal representation and assistance you need to successfully immigrate into this country. The information above is a general guideline should not be use to substitute for the work of an attorney. It is all we do and it shows in our results. For more information on how our firm can best serve you, contact us at anytime - (800) 792-9889.


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