Will You Be Deported After Your Divorce?


If you achieved lawful permanent resident status in the United States by marrying a U.S. citizen then you might rightly be concerned that a divorce could threaten your legal status here in the country. Yet you do not lose the right to have a divorce just because you obtained your green card through marriage.

Here’s what you need to know about how an impending divorce could impact your immigration prospects.

The length of the marriage will matter.

When you receive your initial green card it will come with a 2-year expiration date. This is one of the steps that USCIS takes to ensure that they are not giving out green cards for fraudulent marriages. You must file a I-751 at the end of the two year period to remove conditions on residence.

If you’ve already applied for your adjustment of status and your green card has been made permanent because you’ve been married for 7 years, then you don’t have much to worry about. Your green card will not automatically expire just because the marriage ends.

If you are within that 2-year conditional period you’ll want to consult closely with an immigration attorney before taking any steps. You could indeed face deportation if you choose to get a divorce. You may need to file a waiver that shows that you entered into the marriage in good faith but it was terminated through no fault of your own. For example if your spouse leaves you for someone else and you’ve been utterly blindsided then a waiver might be appropriate.

You may also be able to get a waiver if you were a victim of domestic abuse, or if you would face some sort of extreme hardship if forced to leave the United States at this time.

Whether or not you intend to apply for citizenship will matter.

If you’re past that 2-year conditional period but still plan to apply for US Citizenship then you will want to work closely with an immigration attorney to ensure that you can show your past marriage was real and true even though it eventually encountered problems and had to end.

There will be a long list of evidence that an attorney will advise you to provide. Your application will need to make both your honesty and your situation very clear to immigration officials. 

Immigration is complex.

Assume nothing. Working with a qualified immigration attorney is the best way to ensure that you get to stay in the United States if something goes wrong with your marriage.

Contact Hykel Law to get help today.

See also:

Will a Small Courthouse Wedding Mess Up Your Green Card Application?

7 Ways to Get a Green Card

Can An Extramarital Affair Disqualify You for a Green Card

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