Divorce is a part of life for many people. The American Psychological Association (APA) estimates that between 40 and 50 percent of U.S. marriages end in a separation. If you immigrated to the U.S. through a spouse and you possess a two year conditional green card, you probably want to know: How will a divorce impact my immigration status?
The short answer is that you need to take immediate action to protect your ability to stay in the United States. You still have immigration options available—even if your former partner refuses to cooperate. In this article, our green card through marriage lawyer explains the most important things you should know about how a divorce will affect your immigration status.
You Must Submit Form I-751 to Get a Permanent Green Card
Marriage to an American citizen or lawful permanent resident is the most straightforward route to a green card. However, if you are in a relatively recent marriage, you will initially receive a two-year conditional green card. After enough time has passed, you must file Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence. When your relationship is going well, you should file Form I-751 jointly with your spouse. When you are getting a divorce, a joint filing is no longer an option.
Divorced? You May Be Eligible for an I-751 Waiver
You are not out of options if you cannot file Form I-751 jointly with your spouse. You have the right to petition for an I-751 waiver. To be eligible for a waiver, you will be required to prove that you were in a bona fide marriage that was entered into in good faith. Explained another way, you need to prove that your marriage was not fraudulent. Marriages fail. Our immigration system acknowledges that not all relationships work out in the end. As long as you went into the marriage for the right reasons, you can apply for a waiver.
Be Prepared to Provide Evidence of a Good Faith Marriage
In seeking an I-751 waiver, you should be prepared to provide evidence that your marriage was genuine. What exactly this evidence entails depends on the specific circumstances of your case. As a general rule, any documentation that demonstrates sharing of resources, home, and personal life can be used to help prove that there was a bona fide marriage that simply did not work out in the end. An immigration lawyer with experience handling green cards through marriage cases and I-751 waivers can help.
Contact Our Immigration Attorney for Legal Guidance
At Goldstein Immigration Lawyers, our immigration lawyers are passionate, reliable advocates for clients and their families. If you have any questions about spousal visas and divorce, we are more than happy to help. Get in touch with our legal team today for a fully confidential consultation. We provide immigration law services in Los Angeles and throughout the other communities in Southern California.