What Happens To My Green Card After Divorce?

Sometimes marriages don’t work out and you may find that you need to get a divorce when you still have a green card. This can make the divorce process a little more complicated if you want to remain in the United States as a resident. In this article, we will be discussing the legal implications of getting a divorce while you have a green card and how you can preserve your immigration status.

How Green Cards Are Impacted by Divorce

When you obtain a green card through a marriage to a United States citizen, you usually get one of two types of green cards. What type of green card you have is going to have a huge impact on the steps you need to take to preserve your path to becoming a U.S. citizen after a divorce.

The first thing you should do is hire a vawa immigration lawyer who can help you navigate this process. They will be able to break down the legal ramifications of a divorce and guide you on the next steps you have to take.

Permanent Green Card

Getting a divorce when you have a permanent green card is the best case scenario as it has the least amount of impact on your immigration status. When it comes time for you to renewyour permanent green card, all you will need to do is file form I-90 and you shouldn’t run into any issues related to the divorce.

If you have decided to legally change your name after the divorce, you will have the option to update your green card information to reflect this when you are renewing it.

Conditional Green Card

A common type of green card people get when they marry a U.S. citizen is a conditional green card. As the name suggests, this means that the card will come with certain conditions. These conditions will be removed after two years if you and your spouse are still married, which is why having a conditional green card and getting a divorce can cause problems.

The good news is that having a conditional green card does not make getting a divorce impossible. You will just need to take additional steps to protect your immigration status by filling out form I-751 to remove the conditions of your green card.

A form I-751 is usually used to prove that the marriage was genuine and not something that was done as a result of immigration fraud. You also need to provide a statement that explains why the marriage ended.

Removing Conditions When the Divorce Isn’t Finalized, or You’re Separated

If your divorce has not been finalized, you will need to provide the USCIS with evidence that the divorce proceedings have been initiated. When you do this, the USCIS will send a notice in the mail that extends your conditional residence status for an additional year. This can help protect you if the divorce proceedings experience any delays.

The USCIS will most likely send you a request for evidence as well so that it can get access to the final decree of divorce.

If you and your spouse are separated or your spouse refuses to grant a divorce, there are other steps you may be able to take. One option you have is if you can prove extreme hardship that would make you eligible for a permanent green card through family.

Filling Out Form I-751

If you are like most people who have immigrated to the United States, you probably have a conditional green card through family. To maintain your residency in the United States after a divorce, you will need to fill out form I-751. This will help to lift the conditions of your green card and grant you a permanent one.

Keep in mind that correctly filling out this form is crucial for having it accepted. The best way to guarantee that it is done accurately is to have a vawa immigration lawyer assist you with providing information and evidence. They can also help you file it so that you get a response as soon as possible.

Here is the step-by-step process of filling out form I-751 if you have a conditional green card:

  • Step one: The first part of this form is where you will need to provide basic personal information to prove that you are who you say you are. You will also need to provide some information that is available on your green card.
  • Step two: The second part of this process is providing personal details about your appearance, such as your eye color, weight, ethnicity, and height.
  • Step three: This part of the form is the basis for the petition, which you will file jointly with your spouse or file on your own. If you are not filing jointly, you will need to provide a brief explanation of why this is.
  • Step four & five: You will need to provide information about your spouse and any children as a result of the marriage. Step four is for your spouse, while step five is for your children. However, you can skip step five if there are no children from the marriage.
  • Step six: This is an optional section that is primarily used for those with disabilities or impairments. You can use the section to explain your disabilities or impairments if you require special accommodations by U.S. authorities.
  • Step seven: You and your spouse will have to verify in writing that the information in this form is entirely correct.
  • Step eight: If you have received any assistance while filling out this form, they will need to provide their details in section 8. This applies to an immigration attorney, family member, or if you have used an interpreter.

Hire an Immigration Attorney Today

Do you want to protect your green card status if you have decided to get a divorce? Contact us today at U.S. Immigration Law Counsel by filling out our online form or contacting us directly at 800-666-4996. Our immigration lawyers will deal with the government, so you don’t have to!

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