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what happens if you get divorced after receiving a green card | godoy law office immigration lawyers

What Happens If You Get Divorced After Receiving A Green Card?

Conditional green card holders who are on a two-year green card through marriage typically file a joint petition with their spouse to have a removal of conditions on residency. Green card holders who are divorced after receiving a green card can apply for a Waiver for Joint Filing. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)  may permit a conditional green card holder to remove conditions on residence in the case of:

  • divorce
  • annulment
  • spouse’s death 
  • cases of extreme cruelty 
  • the applicant’s removal will result in extreme hardship
  • other events that make it impossible to file a joint petition with their spouse

If a person who received a green card by marrying a U.S. citizen, and the marriage was less than 2 years old at the time of approval, a divorce and Waiver for Joint Filing might cause some extra scrutiny and delays by USCIS. The application may require the applicant to provide additional information and documentation to USCIS to prove it was a valid, bona fide marriage. The single petitioner must be able to prove that they originally entered the marriage in good faith and they are no longer able to file jointly through no fault of the petitioner.

Quickly being divorced after receiving a green card raises questions. Immigrants under a spousal visa need to prove their marriage is valid during a USCIS interview where the immigration officer is looking for inconsistencies as indicators of marriage fraud. During the interview, applicants must prove they have a real, bona fide marriage – and not marriage just to get a green card.

A bona fide marriage proves to USCIS that your marriage is legitimate and was entered in for the correct reasons – and not for immigration reasons. Marriage fraud is a federal crime. A fake marriage to get a green card can result in a prison sentence of up to five years and a fine of up to $250,000 for both the immigrant and the American citizen.

Learn More: How To Prove You Have a Bona Fide Marriage 

Cook and DuPage County Marriage Visa Lawyer

An experienced family immigration lawyer can answer your marriage visa and green card questions and prepare you for your marriage interview to prove you have a bona fide marriage. With experience in many immigration cases, Mario Godoy and the immigration attorneys at the Godoy Law Office can assess your situation and advise you on your best options to get your green card. Call us today at 630-912-0322.  


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