Suppose you are getting divorced and are currently on a green card in the country. In that case, you’ll need to notify the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) office of your changing marital status.
To notify USCIS of divorce, you must file a Form 1-751 waiver. For help with this process, you should contact an experienced divorce lawyer in Miami.
How Conditional Residency Impacts Immigration in Divorce
If you received a marriage green card, USCIS wants to be sure you are in a real marriage and that you didn’t get married to get a green card. USCIS ensures a marriage is authentic by adding a “conditional residency” to your green card status.
A conditional green card—or conditional residency—is a two-year period in which your residency is not permanent. During this time, the conditional resident has most of the same legal rights as a permanent resident. However, at the end of the conditional period, the couple will need to prove the marriage is ongoing and that they are trying to create a life together to obtain permanent residency.
If a divorce happens within that two-year conditional period before the immigrant becomes a lawful permanent resident, additional legal steps will need to be taken to stay in the country legally. If the marriage has ended through divorce, the immigrant can apply for a waiver of the joint petition and instead submit Form I-751 as an individual.
To do this, the immigrant must prove that the marriage was in “good faith” or that it was real and not done just to gain residency. Alternatively, to file an I-751 as a solo petitioner, they can prove the termination of the marriage was “connected to the battery or extreme cruelty” by the U.S. citizen in the relationship.
It can be challenging to go through a divorce while you are still trying to establish permanent residence in the United States. If you need assistance, a divorce attorney may be able to help guide you through the process.
FAQ: Notifying USCIS of Divorce
Do I have to inform USCIS of my divorce?
Yes. Suppose you are not yet a fully naturalized citizen in the United States. In that case, you must inform the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) of the divorce proceedings. You can do that by filing the Form 1-751 waiver.
Can I still get a green card after my divorce?
Yes. While a divorce might make getting a green card challenging, it is still possible. Nothing in U.S. law prevents someone from obtaining a green card after a divorce. You must prove that the marriage was in “good faith” or that you did not commit immigration fraud (or enter the union only to receive a green card). There’s also a difference between a legal separation and a divorce.
Will my spouse be deported if we get a divorce?
If your spouse received their green card on a marriage provision and is in the two-year conditional period set by USCIS, your spouse could potentially face deportation if you get divorced. A qualified divorce lawyer can help prevent deportation by helping prove the marriage was in “good faith” or that you didn’t get married just so your spouse could get a green card.