Green Card & Divorce

Maintaining your Lawful Permanent Resident Status if you get Divorced

In any immigrant petition for the spouse of a U.S. Citizen where the marriage was contracted less than 2 years before the adjudication of the case, the immigrant spouse is granted Conditional Permanent Residence for 2 years.

In the 90 days preceding the expiration of the 2-year period, a new petition for removal of conditions of residence must be signed by both spouses. This petition is filed with the USCIS with Form I-751.

In some cases, a joint petition for removal of conditions of residence cannot be filed because the marriage ended in a divorce or annulment, or because the spouses separated.

The law allows a conditional permanent residence to request the removal of conditions without the help of his or her U.S. spouse. This can be done if either the marriage was contracted in good faith, but ended in divorce, or the immigrant spouse was subject to extreme cruelty by the U.S. citizen spouse. The process is called Waiver of the Joint Filing Requirement.

In case of physical separation, it is important to consult with an experienced Family Law Attorney to see if the marriage can be still saved or a divorce is the only option.

In cases of a marriage entered into in good faith, but ended with a divorce, the USCIS will not adjudicate a petition for removal of conditions of residence unless a final judgment of divorce is provided.

Instead, if the immigrant spouse was subject to extreme cruelty, such as physical or psychological abuse, the USCIS will adjudicate the petition even if the spouses did not formally divorce. Extreme cruelty is usually demonstrated by police reports, retraining orders, pictures, or affidavits or witnesses.

To protect your status of lawful permanent resident, it is very important that you are assisted by an experienced New York Immigration Attorney. If your petition for a Waiver of the Joint Filing Requirement is denied by the USCIS, you will be served with a Notice To Appear, which means you might get deported from the United States.

Contact a New York Immigration Lawyer if your marriage ended in Divorce and you want to renew your Green Card

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