A question that clients will ask is; Can I divorce my spouse and still get my green card?
Watch the video: Can I divorce my spouse and still get my green card? Or read immigration attorney Ifeoma Odunlami’s discussion overview and learn more below.
Can I still get my green card even though I’m divorced from my spouse, or I would like to divorce my spouse, who is a U.S. Citizen or Green Card Holder?
To answer this question, I have to backtrack a little to explain. When you marry a U.S. citizen or a green card holder, that person will file a petition for you. This is an adjustment of status petition and also the steps to apply for a conditional green card.
This conditional green card or two-year green card is a green card that is valid for two years. Some refer to this type of green card as a temporary green card. A two-year green card is issued when you have residency through a marriage that is less than two years old.
Learn more about; the difference between two-year and ten-year green cards.
From the issue date, you will have two years to remove the condition on your green card and apply for a ten-year permanent resident green card. You must apply for a ten-year permanent green card 90 days (filed jointly with your spouse) before your two-year green card expires.
If you have let your two-year green card expire, it is important to consult an immigration attorney so that they can help you put together a case as to why you have let your conditional green card expire. The law does allow for late filing.
However, there is a new law in which if you prepare your petition along with your immigration attorney, you might not have to have your 2nd interview to get your permanent resident green card. If you provide all the necessary documents when you file your I-751 that prove your marriage was a “bona fide marriage” or a marriage of good faith, USCIS may just void your 2nd interview and send your green card to you in the mail.
This is great news because removing the conditions on your green card by filing the i-751 waiver and having a 2nd marriage interview can be time-consuming and difficult.
Now, back to the question; Can I still get my green card even though I’m divorced from my spouse, or I would like to divorce my spouse, who is a U.S. Citizen or Green Card Holder?
The short answer is yes.
You can file waivers to self-petition without your spouse for your green card. You have to fall into one of the four main categories.
Your U.S. Citizen spouse or your green card holder spouse has died. However, you still need to prove your marriage was a “bona fide marriage” or a marriage of good faith.
You are getting a divorce. You must file under the waiver of divorce. However, you must have a divorce decree. If you don’t have your divorce finalized, your petition will be denied.
You can file for a physical or emotional abuse waiver. There are many forms of abuse. Please contact an immigration attorney to help you out of your toxic relationship.
Extreme hardship waiver. If you can prove that you can not return to your home country based on what conditions are going on in your home country. Going back to your home country would cause extreme hardship.
Steps for filing for a wavier
1. You must file form I-751 to remove the conditions on your two-year green card.
2. Include the filing fee
3. Prove that your marriage continued to be a marriage of good faith, a “bona fide marriage.” You will need to provide new evidence, not the same evidence you used to get your two-year green card.
4. You don’t have to wait until 90 days before your two-year green card expires before filing for a waiver under one of these four conditions.
We can help you will your immigration needs.
If you need an employment visa, wish to immigrate, or want to help bring a family member to the United States, the Odunlami Law Firm can help. If you are facing deportation or removal for any reason, you need our help. You may contact the law office for more information or to schedule an appointment.
Areas of Immigration Law:
Naturalization (Citizenship) Application
Immigrant Relative Petitions
Fiancé Visa Applications
Adjustment of Status and Consular Processing
Criminal Consequences and Deportation Defense
Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Application
Special Immigrant Juvenile Status
Green Card Renewals
Temporary Work Visas
Temporary Protected Status
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals