Green Card After Divorce
So what happens to your green card after divorce? If you acquired your green card based on marriage to a U.S. Citizen or a lawful permanent resident, you most likely carry a two-year conditional green card. Your status is conditional because it must be proven that you did not enter into marriage for the sole purpose of bypassing immigration laws.
How Do I Remove the Conditions of My 2-Year Green Card?
The conditions on a green card can be removed by submitting Form Form I-751 to USCIS. According to the USCIS Website, an individual may apply to remove the conditions on their permanent residence if they:
- Are still married to the same U.S. citizen or permanent resident after 2 years. You may include your children in your application if they received their conditional-resident status either at the same time or within 90 days as you did;
- Are a child and, for a valid reason, cannot be included in your parents’ application;
- Are a widow or widower who entered into your marriage in good faith;
- Entered into a marriage in good faith, but the marriage ended through divorce or annulment; or
- Entered into a marriage in good faith, but either you or your child were battered or subjected to extreme hardship by your U.S.-citizen or permanent-resident spouse
The fourth bullet point is what we will attempt to address through this article.
How will I be able to get a Green Card if My Petitioner-Spouse has Divorced Me?
Generally, in the absence of a divorce, both the petitioner and their non-citizen spouse must file a joint petition to adjust the status of the beneficiary ninety days before the expiration of the conditional green card.
If a divorce is finalized within the two years of the conditional green card, USCIS provides an avenue to bypass the joint filing requirement. This is completed by demonstrating that the marriage was a bona fide, good faith relationship, and not entered into for the purposes of evading immigration laws.
What Kind of Evidence Can I Use to Prove My Marriage was Entered into in Good Faith?
Any evidence which can demonstrate that the marriage did not end due to any fault on the non-citizen spouse’s part is most preferred. There is no set list for what evidence will overcome this burden it is important to discuss this with your immigration attorney in order to determine what may suffice.
My Spouse and I are Legally Separated – Do I have to Apply to Remove the Conditions on My Green Card?
Legal separation is not the same thing as a divorce for purposes of immigration law. Technically speaking, a non-citizen spouse can still acquire permanent residence even though they are not living with their citizen/permanent resident spouse.
Divorce is a scary concept to come to terms with and it only gets harder when an immigration issue is involved. The attorneys at Gilles Law, PLLC are here to help with your inquiries.