Marrying your new spouse and beginning your journey toward permanent residency is an amazing milestone. Unfortunately, things do happen and relationships can sometimes falter.
If you gained conditional resident status based on your marriage to a US citizen, you might be wondering what will happen if you divorce. Hopefully, we can help alleviate some of your concerns.
First, you must determine if you’re still in conditional status, also known as conditional permanent residency. When you arrive in the US, you’ll be required to marry within 90 days to obtain your green card. Then, you’ll be considered a conditional resident until you’ve remained married to your spouse for two years.
The USCIS uses this two-year period as a probationary period to test the validity of your marriage. They want to ensure you entered into the marriage in good faith instead of for the sole purpose of obtaining a green card.
If you and your spouse are considering a divorce and you haven’t yet reached the two-year mark, your divorce may affect your immigration status and your ability to remain in the US.
The good news is that there are additional steps you can take to ensure you’re still able to continue toward becoming a US citizen. If you finalize your divorce before the two-year probationary period is up, you must:
- Submit Form I-751 to the USCIS: This form is a petition to remove the marriage conditions on your permanent residence.
- Request to waive the joint filing of I-751: This petition is to request that USCIS waive the need for your ex-spouse’s signature on the form. This allows you to apply for permanent residence without your ex-spouse’s support.
You’ll be required to provide a divorce decree and a statement explaining why you and your ex-spouse got divorced. You should also be prepared to show proof that you didn’t enter into marriage to simply obtain a green card.
An immigration attorney can help you pursue protection for your immigration status no matter what comes your way.
Divorce is complicated and so is immigration. To ensure you still reach your immigration goals even after a divorce or separation, we recommend reaching out to a professional immigration attorney. To learn more about divorce or immigration, give us a call at 972-445-7577 or send us a message.