Powell Immigration Law PC | Business, Employment and Family Immigration Law | California

I-130 Petition Reinstatement due to Death of Petitioner (Humanitarian Reinstatement)

A basic overview of the Relief is provided here. If you have further inquiries as to the application process or whether or not this is the correct route for your needs, please don't hesitate to contact us.


Humanitarian reinstatement is a discretionary form of relief available to the principal beneficiary of an approved Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, that was approved prior to the death of the petitioner who filed on the beneficiary's behalf. If approved, the measure reinstates the approved Form I-130.


Humanitarian reinstatement may only be requested by the principal beneficiary when the petitioner who filed an approved Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, on his or her behalf, has died. Humanitarian reinstatement will not be granted if the petitioner died while the petition was pending, however, an individual may see Basic Eligibility for Section 204(I) Relief for Surviving Relatives to inquire asif he or she may qualify for another form of relief.

Most immediate relatives and family-based immigrants are required to have a Form I-864, Affidavit of Support Under Section 213A of the Act. In some cases, an individual's work history and/or other factors may make Form I-864 unnecessary (See 8 CFR 213a.2(a)(2)(ii)). In either case, the petitioner’s death does not change the way that the Form I-864 requirement applies to such an individual. If the individual was required to have Form I-864 and the petitioner died, he or she must have either a new Form I-864 from a substitute sponsor or Form I-864W, Intending Immigrant’s Affidavit of Support Exemption.

The substitute sponsor must be:

  • A U.S. citizen, national or lawful permanent resident (LPR) who is at least eighteen years old.
  • The individual's spouse, parent, mother-in-law, father-in-law, sibling, child, son, daughter, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, sister-in-law, brother-in-law, grandparent, grandchild or legal guardian.  

It should be noted that humanitarian reinstatement is a discretionary benefit, meaning that USCIS will be weighing positive factors against negative factors in order to make a decision. Therefore, in addition to meeting the basic requirements for humanitarian reinstatement, an individual's request must warrant a favorable exercise of discretion in that the positive factors in granting such a request outweigh the negative factors.


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