What Are My Rights As A Non-U.S. Citizen And Surviving Spouse?

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Apr 18 2018 - 7:59am

I am a Filipina married for only 1 yr& 8 mos. to a US veteran person and he died a couple of weeks in USA,while I was left here in Saudi as expat worker. We were both expat worker when we met & he exit for about 10 mos ago. i am waiting for spouse visa but sad to say he had not yet filed it before he died.he had been divorce for 21 yrs. before we got married, they have 3 kids and grown up already. his ex-wife married to another man after they got divorce.I would like to know what are my rights as a non-us citizen spouse?
thank you!

Hi,

I can't be absolutely certain, but it doesn't sound like you could qualify for U.S. Social Security survivor benefits while you are living outside of the U.S., unless your husband died while serving in the U.S. military. You must normally either be a U.S. citizen or be legally admitted to the U.S. for permanent residence in order to be able to receive Social Security benefits.

Your situation sounds complicated, though, so I'm not certain that I have all of the pertinent facts. You may want to try contacting Social Security, or filing a claim for widow's benefits if you think you may qualify. If you're living in Saudi Arabia, though, the nearest Social Security Federal Benefits Unit would be in Rome, Italy. Their exact address can be found on Social Security's website: https://www.ssa.gov/foreign/foreign.htm#Samoa.

Best, Jerry