Ask Larry

Can My Undocumented Fiancee Collect A Spousal Benefit If We Marry?

Dear Larry,

I have been living with my fiancee for 4 years. I am 72. She is 65. Should we get married to optimize SS income? One complication. She is a Colombian national that has lived and worked in the US over 10 years. She is 'undocumented' in the US and I had been planning to marry.her to remove this obstacle. She has no SS number.

Thanks in advance

Hi, I don't know about immigration law, but if you inform the authorities that she is living here as an undocumented alien they could, I would think, deport her.

I would talk to an immigration lawyer. You may need to get married here in the U.S., have her return home while she files to legally enter the U.S. with a green card as your wife. But this is pure speculation on my part.

Once you do legally marry, your wife can collect a spousal benefit even if she lives outside the U.S. provided you have been married for at least one year. If you die, she can collect your check as a widow benefit provided you have been married for 9 months.

Our software can help you understand, in a single number, how much getting married will mean to you. You can then compare this to the cost of dealing with the immigration issues including your possibly having to live apart for a while.

best, Larry

Jul 7 2016 - 8:45am
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