How Will Divorce Affect My Immigration Status?
If you are a married immigrant who is living in the United States with a green card holder or a US citizen, divorce or annulment might impact your immigration status. How divorce impacts your immigration status depends on the type of visa you have, how long you were married, whether you are already divorced or are in the process of divorcing and the reasons for the divorce, including abuse.
Removal of Conditions
If you were granted U.S. residence based on your marriage to a U.S. citizen, your “conditional” green card is valid for 2 years. A conditional permanent resident visa is applied to certain green cards in order to prevent fraudulent marriage as a means of obtaining citizenship. This conditional clause is applied to a visa for 24 months, at which time the person must file a Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence form I-751 to request that these conditions be waived. This is a joint filing with the original US citizen petitioner. However, if a person has gone through a divorce or separation, therefore making a joint filing unavailable, the immigrant’s family member may file for a waiver of those conditions on the same form.
The USCIS website states how the conditions on your 2-year green card can be removed, which are contingent on proving that you entered the marriage in good faith and that the marriage was not fraudulent:
• If you entered into the marriage in good faith yet your marriage was terminated through annulment or divorce.
If you are going through a divorce you need to prove that your marriage was real and not fraudulent in order to get the conditions removed from your green card on your own. A qualified immigration attorney can help you apply for a waiver to the joint I-751 filing requirement and provide evidence that your marriage was entered in good faith.
An experienced immigration lawyer can answer your green card questions about divorce or legal separation. With experience in many immigration cases, Mario Godoy and the other immigration attorneys at the Godoy Law Office can assess your situation and advise you on your best options. Call today at 855-554-6369.