Widows and widowers can file a Petition on their own behalf, but they need to demonstrate that the following requirements have been met:
- Married to a US citizen for at least two years
- Petition filed within two years of spouse's death
- Must not be remarried at the time that they become a Permanent Resident
For this category, you are required to file a special form, Form I-360, "Petition Widow/Special Immigrant."
You should know that if you were legally separated or divorced at the time your spouse died, you do not qualify. Naturally, certain questions arise as to what constitutes a legal separation. The INS will most likely look at the circumstances surrounding the separation to determine if it is considered a legal separation. Some states define legal separation, and in practice the INS investigator may apply these definitions and any related court cases to your situation