Building Dreams

What is Humanitarian Revalidation?

Because of the backlog in processing family based immigration petitions in the United States and the limited availability of visa numbers, it often happens that the sponsor/petitioner dies before the beneficiary becomes eligible to adjust status. In such circumstances, the petition is automatically revoked. This often comes as a huge surprise to beneficiaries, especially those that have waited decades for a visa number to become available. Humanitarian revalidation allows the beneficiary to seek reinstatement of the I-130 family based petition from the U.S. Attorney General if it is determined “that for humanitarian reasons revocation would be inappropriate.” The I-130 petition must have been approved prior to the death of the petitioner, and the petitioner must have a close family member (parent, mother-in-law, father-in-law, sibling, child, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, sister-in-law, brother-in-law, grandparent, or grandchild) serve as an alternate sponsor. Moreover, humanitarian revalidation does not extend to the beneficiary’s children.

The factors that the Attorney General considers include: disruption of the family unit; hardship to a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident's family; the age and health of the beneficiary; the length of the beneficiary's residence in the United States; whether the beneficiary has a foreign residence that he or she can return to; undue delay in processing the petition or visa; and the extent of the beneficiary's family ties in the United States. Qualifying for humanitarian revalidation is extremely difficult. The Attorney General has absolute discretion and generally looks for compelling reasons. In order to effectively present compelling reasons, it is best to contact a San Diego immigration lawyer.

See “What Happens if My Sponsor Dies Before a Visa Number Becomes Available?” for additional information and options.