I waited 15 years and now my petitioner died. Now what?


I waited 15 years and now my petitioner died. Now what?

(For a Video on this subject, please goto http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8yJ_ryMCGNU&feature=g-upl)

Question: My father petitioned me 15 years ago and it was just about current, but he just died. Now, what happens and can I still come to the U.S.?

Answer: Normally, when the petitioner dies so does the petition. Thus, when you would receive a packet from the National Visa Center stating that the visa petition is ready to process, you would not be able to proceed forward. They simply do not know that the petitioner has died. However, there is what is known as a Humanitarian Reinstatement.

Question: What is a Humanitarian Reinstatement?

Answer: As I have stated, the death of a petition formerly resulted in the automatic revocation of a family member’s petition. Under the Humanitarian Reinstatement, there are procedures for permitting family members in family-based and employment-based petitions to continue with their residency applications even if the applications had not yet been approved.

Question: What is the criteria for the Humanitarian Reinstatement?

Answer: Humanitarian Reinstatement Criteria—Under prior law if there was automatic revocation of the petition due to death, USCIS/DOS could grant humanitarian reinstatement. DOS criteria in evaluating a request for humanitarian reinstatement include whether there is: (1) disruption of an established family unit; (2) hardship to USCs or LPRs; (3) a beneficiary who is elderly or in poor health; (4) a beneficiary who has had lengthy residence in the U.S.; (5) a beneficiary who has no home to go to; (6) undue delay by INS or consular officers in processing the petition and the visa; and (7) a beneficiary who has strong family ties in the U.S.

Question: I heard something about a ‘substitute sponsor’. What is this?

Answer: This is a certain other family member who basically now would submit the affidavit of support in place of the deceased petitioner. Under the Family Sponsor Immigration Act of 2002, certain relatives (spouse, parent, mother-in-law, father-in-law, sibling, child (if at least 18 years of age), son, daughter, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, sister-in-law, brother -in-law, grandparent, grandchild, or legal guardian) may be substituted to meet the affidavit of support requirements under INA §213A(f)(5), when the petitioning relative has died.

Question: Who is asked to reinstate the I-130.

Answer: The I-130 beneficiary must ask the Attorney General to reinstate the petition and must demonstrate that she has a substitute sponsor.

Question: What if you cannot find or do not have a substitute sponsor?

Answer: If a beneficiary does not have a qualifying relative, he or she may make an estoppel argument.

If the Humanitarian Reinstatement is granted, then the same priority date will be used and the petition will go forward as if the petitioner were still alive.

8 Responses

  1. Atty. Lerner, I have the same case as this one. My petition was filed in Nov. 1992 but my father died in Nov. 2000. My two siblings are already residing in the US and they have the capability to issue affidavits of support. If ever my siblings would become substitute sponsor(s), when is the best time to write the Attorney General? Do I have to do it now or when my petition becomes current? I am married and my daughters are already past 21 years of age. Hence, if ever my husband and I would just be the ones to be covered/petitioned. In 2001, I have sent a letter to INS for my petition to be reconsidered for humanitarian reason.

    How would I know if our petition is still active? My husband and I are both 61 years of age. Your advice would be most appreciated. Thank you.

    Clemencia Vicente Ria

    • Humanitarian Reinstatement
      Unfortunately, when the petitioner dies in a family petition, the petition itself is automatically terminated. The only way to address this situation would prepare a Humanitarian Reinstatement. This is a request that is willing to allow in essence a request to move forward even though the petitioner has died. We would prepare the attorney cover letter, declarations, affidavits, supporting documentation and all other relevant evidence. Afterwards, we submit to the appropriate governmental unit for decision.  If successful, then the same priority date will exist and the beneficiary will have have to wait multiple years more for another petition or be without any petition at all after waiting numerous years. 
      Attorney fees (fees and expenses not included) 
The total attorney’s fees will be $ 2,500.00.

  2. sir we have the same case. We waited for 12 years in f3 category (case completed) and now we have interview in jan. But the petitioner died last weak.
    my whole family(brothers and sisters) in US.

    How will Humanitarian Reinstatement help us?
    Is we get visa?

    if we change our petition from f3 to f4 then how long we have to wait?

    please help sir.

    • Humanitarian Reinstatement
      Unfortunately, when the petitioner dies in a family petition, the petition itself is automatically terminated. The only way to address this situation would prepare a Humanitarian Reinstatement. This is a request that is willing to allow in essence a request to move forward even though the petitioner has died. We would prepare the attorney cover letter, declarations, affidavits, supporting documentation and all other relevant evidence. Afterwards, we submit to the appropriate governmental unit for decision.  If successful, then the same priority date will exist and the beneficiary will have have to wait multiple years more for another petition or be without any petition at all after waiting numerous years. 
      Attorney fees (fees and expenses not included) 
The total attorney’s fees will be $ 2,500.00.

  3. sir we have the same case, our interview is over and given a letter mentioning ineligible under section 212(a)(5)(A). this is for family immigration. petition was aprroved in 2009 but interview was held 1 week ago. we have other family members residing in USA. what is your charge including expenses, fess and consultation.? tell me the final amount and solution for our case

  4. sir we have the same case under family immigration. our petition was filed in 2001, was approved in 2009 and we had an interview 1 week ago. but petitioner was died last year. so we informed this to visa officer during interview. so were handed over a letter saying section 212(a)(5)(A). but we have a sister in USA. we told this to visa officer. now should we wait for USCIS to respond to revocation or refusal or go ahed with the HUMANITARIAN REINSTATEMENT ? plz tell me your fess including expenses, fees, consultations etc with a final number

    • Humanitarian Reinstatement
      Unfortunately, when the petitioner dies in a family petition, the petition itself is automatically terminated. The only way to address this situation would prepare a Humanitarian Reinstatement. This is a request that is willing to allow in essence a request to move forward even though the petitioner has died. We would prepare the attorney cover letter, declarations, affidavits, supporting documentation and all other relevant evidence. Afterwards, we submit to the appropriate governmental unit for decision.  If successful, then the same priority date will exist and the beneficiary will have have to wait multiple years more for another petition or be without any petition at all after waiting numerous years. 
      Attorney fees (fees and expenses not included) 
The total attorney’s fees will be $ 2,500.00.

      Down Payment
Normally we take 50% down and then the balance can be paid monthly until paid in full. We accept all forms of payment included debit and credit cards, Western Union and Money Gram.

      If you pay by Western Union, simply put the name Brian D. Lerner and the address 3233 E. Broadway, Long Beach, California 90803. Then you would notify me of the 10 digit control number, date of deposit and how much you deposited.

      You can call my office at 562-495-0554 and make the down payment through check or credit card which we will put through our secure servers and you will get electronic verification.

      You can also go on the secure website at the following website address:

      http://www.californiaimmigration.us/immigration-consultation

      Please let me know if you are interested in proceeding and we can start on your case immediately.

Should you have further questions, you can e-mail me back or call my office at 562-495-0554.


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