Divorce is a complex process. When you’re not a United States citizen however, the process can be even more complicated. If you’re relying on your spouse’s citizenship for your own immigration or residency status, a divorce may delay or disrupt your quest for full citizenship.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) suspects that a significant number of immigrant marriages are fraudulent and are entered into in order to obtain a green card for U.S. residency. Because of this, USCIS policies contain many requirements to ensure that only immigrants who enter into valid marriages are awarded immigration benefits.
If you obtained U.S. residency through your marriage to a U.S. citizen and you divorce your spouse, USCIS will likely issue you a two-year conditional green card rather than a more permanent 10-year green card. During this two-year time frame, USCIS will apply additional scrutiny to your case to ensure the marriage was valid and entered into in good faith, and not used to circumvent immigration law and obtain a green card fraudulently. The burden of proof will be on the conditional resident to prove this fact.
If you’re already a lawful permanent resident with a 10-year green card, however, and you want to file for divorce, your residency status will likely be unaffected. You should be able to renew your green card after a divorce without issue by filing Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card. It’s unlikely questions of your previous marriage to a U.S. citizen will be asked.
Still Unsure? Consult with a Qualified Family Law Attorney
There’s no doubt that family law matters are complex. Our Charlotte family law attorneys are here to help you navigate through the legal process. Our team can help you make sound decisions about your future and family.
If you’re thinking about getting a divorce, contact Rech Law, P.C. at (704) 659-0007 to learn how our Charlotte family law attorneys can assist you.