Divorce or legal separation is generally a stressful or unsettling event in the life of a couple. But this process can be even more challenging if you are in the United States on a marriage based green card. This may have you concerned about your future in the US and whether or not you can still get a green card through marriage.
How Divorce or Separation Effects Your Green Card Application Through Marriage?
People often ask “Can I get a green card through marriage if I no longer live with my spouse?” In order to obtain an American green card through marriage, you must be legally married to a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident and meet other eligibility requirements. If you are no longer living with your spouse, it may be more difficult to prove that your marriage is genuine and not solely for the purpose of obtaining a green card. In general, if you are still married but no longer living together, you may still be able to obtain a marriage-based green card if you can show that you have a bona fide marriage, which means that you have a genuine relationship with your spouse and intend to continue the marriage. However, this can be more difficult to prove if you are not living together.
Renewing Your Conditional Green Card After Separation Or Divorce
For the residents who have a 10-year green card, the marital status does not matter. To replace or renew your green card, you can submit Form I-90, Application to Replace or Renew Permanent Resident Card. In separation, the couple is still technically married, which means it does not necessarily influence immigration proceedings, and a couple may continue to seek permanent residency for the non-citizen spouse if they remain lawfully married after the separation. However, a divorce with your US citizen spouse can affect your green card status or your immigration process as a whole if you have applied for a green card through marriage. Typically conditional resident status obtained through marriage is valid for two years only, the couple can file a waiver together after two years by submitting Form I-751 (Petition to Remove Conditions of Residence). However, if you get divorced before receiving your permanent residence status, it may be difficult to file a waiver to your two year conditional residence status but it is still possible to do so.
How To Prove That Your Marriage Is Genuine?
A two-year conditional green card is issued by USCIS under the circumstances where the couple gets divorced before the non-citizen spouse has obtained the status of permanent resident in the U.S. And during this two year period, USCIS determines whether or not the marriage is genuine. Green card weddings require USCIS to take further measures, mandated by immigration law, to verify the couple’s good faith. After the two years have passed, the couple must submit a joint petition (Form I-751, Petition to Remove the Restrictions on Residence) with proof of the legitimacy of their marriage. This includes things like a shared lease, joint bank accounts, joint credit cards, and coverage under the same vehicle and health insurance plans, all of which provide the sense of a happy and normal marriage.
Consult A Professional!
It is important to consult with an immigration lawyer who can review your specific situation and advise you on the best course of action. They can help you gather evidence to demonstrate the bona fides of your marriage and advise you on any additional requirements that you may need for getting a green card through marriage. Get in touch with us at Sidman Law Group for an initial evaluation of your case. Our marriage based green card attorney is here to guide you through the process of obtaining your green card. So call us at 818-981-0352 or fill out our online form and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.