If you’re an immigrant and hold a green card or other U.S immigration status because of your marriage to a U.S citizen, it can be concerning for you in case of a divorce. According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), lot of immigrants have fraud marriages with U.S citizens to obtain residence. To ensure that only valid marriages of immigrants are awarded benefits, the USCIS policy and U.S law have many requirements and safety measures.
Fraudulent marriages may become difficult to continue till the time of obtaining green card and lead to a divorce situation. However, there can be issues with real couples also. Hence, for being fair to genuine cases, USCIS takes your current immigration process status and the believability of your real marriage into consideration. At every stage of the immigration process, the impact of divorce on your immigration rights is different.
Following are some crucial steps to take for immigration process and how its rights and status will be affected by divorce.
- A visa petition doesn’t give you immigration rights; hence if a visa petition has been filed for you and then you divorce, U.S immigration steps cannot be taken forward.
- You will be given conditional residence after attending visa and green card interview. It is a two-year green card given to a spouse having a marriage of less than two years on approval date. Divorce after this will be troublesome, since after two years your case will be up for review with USCIS and you will apply for removal of conditional residence and get permanent residence. Usually, the form is filled by joint petition and signed by both spouses, but if you divorce, you have to file it on your own and give ample evidence of a real marriage.
- If you’re approved for permanent residence, then USCIS doesn’t give second thought to your application, which means you have nothing to worry about now until you apply the next application for U.S. citizenship.
- USCIS will thoroughly check your immigration history, if you have applied for citizenship. And in case, it finds some indications of fraud in getting green card and/or if your divorce gives that indication, USCIS will ask for documentation to prove that the marriage was legitimate. In case of proven fraudulent, USCIS not only reject your application for citizenship but also starts proceeding for your deportation from the US.
Here, considering all the above steps, it is strongly suggested to hire an attorney having expertise in the same section of law.