Divorce and Obtaining Your Green Card

Divorce is already a turbulent time in any person’s life but can be doubly so if you are trying to immigrate when the divorce occurs. You may wonder what happens if you get divorced before a green card interview. Will you still qualify for U.S. citizenship by marriage?

Keep reading if you are trying to navigate the U.S. immigration system while also going through a separation or divorce. This article will cover what happens if you divorce before your green card interview and your options for a green card after divorce. 

Divorce Before Your Green Card Interview 

If your partner’s status as a U.S. citizen was the primary way you were qualifying for your green card, you would be at a high risk of being disqualified for your visa. The green card conditions you were qualifying for were based on the premise of trying to keep you and your U.S. citizen partner together. Even if your marriage falls apart for legitimate reasons, your chances of obtaining your green card will be severely threatened if you get a divorce before your green card interview.

What happens if you are separated from your partner but not divorced yet? While both statuses can be detrimental to your green card application, some critical details make them different in the eyes of the law. With separation, a couple may be living in different homes or accommodations, but they are still technically together and have a chance of repairing their relationship. However, divorce means that a couple has been officially dissolved by a court of law, and the marriage has clearly ended.

If you and your partner are only separated and not divorced, your green card application is still valid, and you can file for I-751 jointly. Be aware that you will need to do this at least 90 days before the expiration date of your conditional residence status. You should also bring any documentation that proves you are still legally married to your U.S. citizen spouse. 

What Happens to Your Green Card After Divorce 

When you file for permanent resident status, you begin your application for a green card. Your immigration status will depend on how you entered the U.S. and whether your status says you are a “primary beneficiary” or a “derivative beneficiary”. For example, if you were given the “primary beneficiary” status for a work visa, you can continue your application. However, if you have been classified as a “derivative beneficiary, ” you won’t have the legal ground to continue your green card application.

What Can You Do?

If you are confused about what happens to your green card after divorce, you should first contact an immigration divorce lawyer. They will understand the particulars of immigration law in the United States and how it applies to your specific circumstances. If you are a conditional resident of the United States, divorce from your spouse can negatively affect your green card status. It will be essential to file Form I-751 with your former spouse to prove that when you did originally marry, it was authentic and not for the purposed of obtaining a green card.

Immigration is a complex and constantly evolving area of law within the United States. It can be made even more complicated when adding in divorce as well. At Dominguez Law Firm, PLLC, we are dedicated to assisting our clients in navigating the immigration process and ensuring it is as smooth and stress-free as possible. Contact us today if you are concerned about your green card after divorce and how you can legally remain in the United States.