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Can a conditional resident keep their green card after a divorce?

Unhappy divorce couple having conflict

Divorce is not easy, but when it comes to immigration status, divorce can be more devastating and confusing. If you are an immigrant in the United States, you may be wondering if a divorce will impact your green card. This article will help you understand the process better.

However, the best way to successfully navigate your situation and ensure the best outcome for lawful permanent residence is to contact an experienced immigration attorney. At Virguez Law, our immigration lawyers have worked on green cards and divorce cases. Here’s a look into whether a conditional resident can keep their green card after a divorce. 

If you are in the process of getting a divorce, know that it is possible to keep your lawful permanent resident status if you have a conditional green card. If you have legal U.S residency because of a marriage to a U.S. citizen, your conditional green card is valid for two years. But what happens if you get a divorce before the conditional two-year period?

If you are getting a divorce before the initial two-year period, you will need to prove to the USCIS that there is a reason for bypassing the joint filing requirement. There are several ways to do this:

o   Option A: You entered the marriage in good faith, but the marriage was terminated through divorce or annulment.

o   Option B:  You entered the marriage in good faith, and, during the marriage, you were battered, or was the subject of extreme cruelty, by my U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse; or

o   Option C: The termination of my status and removal from the United States would result in extreme hardship.

To convince the USCIS that your marriage was “bona fide” and not fraudulent, you will need to prove that the marriage was entered in “good faith.” In order to prove that your marriage was entered in good faith you can provide the USCIS with the following:

  • Documents showing joint ownership of property or common residence.
  • Evidence proving finances were intermingled.
  • If children were born from the marriage, their birth certificates.
  • Affidavits from friends or parties who can testify to the legitimacy of the marriage.
  • Joint bills, bank statements, and taxes.
  • Photos.
  • Proof of attempts to reconcile (i.e., marriage counseling).

What happens if you have conditional green cards if you are legally separated and not divorced?

A legal separation does not officially end a couple’s marriage; therefore, the couple is still considered married when it comes to immigration purposes. Rather, it is a formal agreement that shows that two people are living their own lives. If the couple is legally separated and living in different homes the non-citizen may not be able to keep their legal permanent resident status. Each state has different laws surrounding legal separation, so consult with an attorney to know for certain if there are exceptions to the clause.

We hope that this helps you understand a little more about your immigration status and conditional green card during a divorce. Our attorneys are here to help you ensure that you get the help that you need. Call Virguez Law at 678-300-0000 to schedule a consultation.

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