07.29.14

Green card through marriage and now divorced?

Posted in I-751, Treaty Traders & Investors at 3:08 am by Lalita Haran

Are you worried that you will be deported because you are going through a divorce? Are you spiteful that your ex-spouse married you just to get the green card and because (s)he divorced you, (s)he must now be deported? Divorce jeopardizes the processing of marriage based permanent residence and so does the pending or soon to start divorce proceeding. But, immigration law does recognize the marriage can break and in such cases, closely regulates grant of marriage based permanent residence.

Permanent residence through marriage to a U.S. citizen is a benefit given to the foreign national spouse recognizing the personal right to enter into a marital relationship with someone you choose. Your significant other may be of any nationality; you have a right to live together with your spouse in the United States because a U.S. citizen must be able to live in marriage. So, the foreign national spouse is eligible to apply for the greencard upon marrying a U.S. citizen.

Newly married foreign national spouse upon, successful completion, can get a two year conditional green card. Approvals are granted once the USCIS is convinced about the genuineness of marital relationship and rules out fraud in marriage. Condition must be removed from the 2 yr. greencard upon filing Form I-751, along with other necessary documents, before the foreign national spouse can obtain a permanent residence.

Immigration law has evolved to recognize that, frequently, even genuine marital relationships terminate. Therefore, it does not bind the foreign national in an unhealthy relationship because (s)he sought marriage based greencard.

Divorce is stressful and estranged spouses can be so spiteful that they would like to take away from or deprive the other spouse of all the benefits. What is better(bitter) than being able to use immigration law to attack the soon to be ex-spouse that he or she loses the permanent resident status and gets deported? Fortunately, immigration law does not encourage such spiteful tendencies.

In a bonafide (real) marriage, immigration rules do not deter the foreign national from adjusting status or removing condition. To fulfill the genuine marriage criteria a divorced foreign national spouse should be proactive at this stage and protect his or her marriage-based permanent residence status.

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