Explaining Divorce After green card
Divorce is hard, especially to be left alone, single again. Some can say he’s free, but the cost and exhaustion that you will go through during divorce is very bad. It can affect one’s mental health, physical health, financial stability and also their permanent resident status. but in most cases, it’s not a big issue.
Before you file another immigration benefit with USCIS make sure how your divorce or an annulment can affect your green card or permanent residency status.
Green card renewal after divorce
if you are granted a 10-year expiration green card because of your bona fide (real) marriage then you have nothing to worry about. You can renew your green card even after the divorce. You can apply for i-90 Application for replacing your green card or renew your green card or permanant resident status.
You may also renew your name at the time of renewing your green card. If you have legal documents to prove your name you can request to change your name. You can request this in a section in form i-90.
Divorce after conditional green card
if your marriage is less than 2 year period, the USCIS may grant you a conditional green card which validity is only 2 years. USCIS takes 2 years to evaluate the validity of the marriage to make sure that the marriage was not only for immigration benefits but in faithful intention.
At the end of this 2 year period the couple must file a joint petition to remove the condition of the 2 year period green card.
The couple must file i751 (petition to remove the condition on permanent residency) along with evidence to prove the bona fide marriage.
The main problem here is that the immigrant and the whole marriage may seem like fradulent. But still we live in a human society. I personally know cases, where a couple met a week ago, got married because they were in love, after filing the petition one of them backed off. Or they can’t even stand each other after
and USCIS already know these issues. What they want actuallly is that the marriage is “real” not just you paid somebody to be your wife/husband to get a green card.
In this case what helps?
- Biological Children: Children can boost the legality of anyone’s marriage. but we are not telling you to get children to look like your marriage is real. but just be in right faith.
- Living together. It’s very unlikely that a couple is married but dont live together. Yes there are some special situation like culture, but still living together can help your case alot.
- Joint bank statement: A joint savings account or morgage can help to show that the marriage was real and it was entered in a good faith.
But there are some special cases like domestic violence. Let’s say your spouse is abusive, in that case you dont need to spend 2 years together. Congress passed a law called VAWA. violence against women act. The USCIS is also fully aware of this kind of situation.
If you spouse is really abusing you (mentally/physically) file a complaint against him and keep a copy. this will help explaining the divorce to the USCIS. So as you can see, you have a lot of options why you got divorce before your 2 year conditional green card.
What if your partner died ?
You can file to renew your green card with a waiver . Please consult with us before doing so. because of it’s complexity.
Here are some common questions regarding green card renewal:
What if I get divorce before the appoval of my green card applicatoin?
If the divorce occurs before the approval of your green card, the process of green card stops. This is true even of USCIS already approved the petition.
For example: Lisa filed to sponsor Andrew her husband to get a green card so that he can visit her and live together in the USA. But: Lisa caught Andrew cheating on her and she filed for a divorce. The process for Andrew coming to the USA or getting a green card stops right there.
What if I get divorce right after the approval of my green card?
When you get the green card in your hand there is no reason fo the USCIS to revoke your green card (except if you do felony). Again the burdon to prove the divorce is real and not because of some contract is on you. if you are found to defraud the US government and got immigration benefit the USCIS will file a charge of defrauding against you. it’s called “Sham marriage”
You also need to understand the consequence of your divorce on naturization process. Even if you are eligible to apply for citizenship after your 5 years permanant resident period the USCIS will take another look at your case because of the divorce. Divorce after green card has it’s merits and demerits too.
What if I get the divorce before Naturalization or Citizenship?
The divorce may or may not effect on your citizenship process. it depends on your case.
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