Nothing can make up for the loss of a loved one. At Solano Law Firm, we mourn the loss of every service member. But as the spouse, child, or parent of a deceased service member, you may be eligible for U.S. citizenship. The military survivor benefits for family program recognizes your sacrifice and important contribution as part of a military family.
We’re passionate advocates for military and gold star families with immigration issues. Our founder, Zaira Solano, is a proud army wife.
We value your service and understand your struggles, and we would love to use our sophisticated approach to immigration law for your benefit. To learn more about military survivor benefits for family, contact us today.
Who Is Eligible for Military Survivor Benefits for Family?
Like any immigration program, the military survivor benefits program has strict requirements. You will need documents like birth and marriage certificates and service-related paperwork to support your claim. To qualify for the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services’ (USCIS) military survivor benefits for family, you must prove:
- You are a legal permanent resident
- You are the spouse, child, or parent of an armed services member who was a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident
- Your family member served honorably in an active duty status
- Their death was due to an injury or disease caused or aggravated by combat
While you must also meet some other general requirements for naturalization, you will not have to meet USCIS’ residence or physical presence rules.
Additional requirements will vary depending on your relationship with your service member.
Spouses of Deceased U.S. Citizen Service Members
If you were a military wife or husband, you must also provide information showing that you:
- Were living with your service member spouse at the time of their death, unless this was prevented by circumstances that were out of your control (such as deployment).
- Were not legally separated at the time of your loved one’s death.
- Are filing your application for citizenship within two years of your spouse’s death
While you can remarry before you file for citizenship, you will not qualify for the military survivor benefits for family program if you remarried before becoming a legal permanent resident.
Child or Parent of Deceased U.S. Citizen Service Members
As a child or parent of a deceased U.S. citizen service member, you do not have to prove that you lived with your loved one. Instead, you must meet the general requirements of the military survivor benefits for family program (listed above) within two years of your their death.
Immediate Family Members of Legal Permanent Resident Service Members
If your service member was a legal permanent resident (LPR) at the time of their death, you may still be eligible for military survivor benefits for family. If you had already applied for adjustment of status before your loved one’s death, USCIS may process your request as if your military family was still alive.
You can also self-petition for U.S. citizenship if you were the spouse or child of an LPR service member, regardless of whether you were already a visa holder. However, you must file your application within two years of your loved one’s death.
To qualify for either LPR service member benefit, you must prove:
- Your loved one served honorably during active duty in the U.S. military.
- They died due to an injury or disease that was caused or aggravated by combat.
- Your loved one received posthumous citizenship.
How Do I File for Military Survivor Benefits for Family?
To apply for USCIS military survivor benefits, you typically need to complete a series of forms, participate in immigration interviews, and provide documentation that supports your claim. It’s important that you clearly designate your relationship to your deceased service member on your forms and throughout the application process.
In addition to proving your membership in a military or gold star family, you will also have to demonstrate:
- Your good moral character
- Knowledge of the English language
- Basic understanding of the U.S. civics (government) and history
- Commitment to the principles outlined in the U.S. Constitution
This process may sound complicated and overwhelming, especially when you’re already facing the challenge of transitioning to your new life without our loved one, tending to your heartbroken family, and grieving yourself. Solano Law Firm would love to help alleviate this burden.
Because our team includes military family members, we have a unique perspective and will always treat you with the compassion and empathy you deserve. However, we’re also respected immigration lawyers. Our experienced team guides clients through the military survivor benefits for family application process. We educating them about their options, build their claims, and fight for their hard-earned benefits.
Learn More About Military Survivor Benefits for Family
If you’re ready to learn more about military survivor benefits for family, contact Solano Law Firm today. With three offices conveniently located in Atlanta, Tampa, and Birmingham, we proudly serve military and gold star families throughout the country. We’re also happy to schedule a phone call or video conference.
To request your personalized evaluation, simply contact our office. One of our team members will respond to your request and connect you with a respected immigration lawyer. We look forward to hearing your story.