When a foreign-born woman marries a US citizen or lawful permanent resident, she may apply for a marriage-based green card. However, life is not perfect, and a relationship may not last forever.
In this case, how can a foreign citizen protect her immigration status in a divorce? Generally, the answer to this question depends on whether she is a conditional resident or attained lawful permanent resident status.
In this article, you will find out whether an ex-husband can cancel a marriage-based green card in the United States.
Can My Ex-Husband Cancel My Green Card? – Rules for Conditional Residents
When a woman is still a conditional resident in the United States, a divorce may create several challenges when applying for permanent residence.
In essence, a conditional resident means that the immigrant spouse you’ve received initial approval of marriage-based US residency. Still, as the marriage is relatively new, the conditional green card will expire in two years.
As provided by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), an immigrant spouse must file Form I-751 (Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence) once the two-year conditional green card has expired.
Accordingly, turning a conditional US green card into permanent resident based on marriage to a US citizen or permanent resident requires the applicant to demonstrate that:
- the marriage was entered in bona fide (i.e., good faith)
- the marriage lasted at least two years beyond USCIS approval for conditional residence
Additionally, Form I-175 requires a joint petition, which means the couple must jointly file with USCIS to remove the conditions on the green card. In this case, divorcing when you are still a conditional resident creates additional problems.
Although it is possible to file Form I-175 with a request for waiver of the requirement to jointly file the petition, it requires an expert assessment done by an experienced immigration attorney.
Can My Ex-Husband Cancel My Green Card? – The Verdict
Ultimately, if the divorce is not yet final, an immigrant spouse under conditional resident status may reconsider ending the relationship before obtaining permanent residency in the United States.
Another problem arises when the US spouse alleges bad faith to preclude an immigrant spouse from getting permanent residency. Unless the US spouse can prove bad faith, it will not affect an immigrant spouse’s chance to get a green card.
However, if divorce is final, an immigrant spouse must file form I-751 and submit the divorce documentation with a request for a waiver of the joint petition requirement.
Regardless, if the relationship ended in dispute and the immigrant spouse is still under conditional resident status, it is crucial to consult with an expert attorney immediately.
Instead, divorce will not affect one’s immigration status directly when an immigrant spouse files for divorce after going from conditional to permanent resident status. Yet, it will delay the process of US naturalization, which will take five years instead of the usual three years.
Can My Ex-Husband Cancel My Green Card? – Work with an Expert Attorney Today
Each case is different, so make sure to sit down and discuss your situation with an expert immigration attorney. Every second counts, so waste no time – call Attorney Romy B. Jurado at (305) 921-0976 or email Romy@juradolawfirm.com to protect your immigration status.