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How Long After Green Card Can I Divorce?
“How long after getting a green card can I get a divorce,” is a phrase frequently searched by foreign nationals who find themselves in troubled marriages. Whether you married for love and intend to settle down with your US citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse (LPR), things don’t always go as planned.
The short answer to the question “How soon after getting a green card can I get a divorce” is: There is no set time to get a divorce after getting a green card! Although there is no time limit on when a green card holder can obtain a divorce, if you file for divorce after receiving your green card, the government may view your marriage with suspicion and allege that you entered into a marriage of convenience. Entering into a sham marriage for the sole purpose of immigration violates US immigration laws. The government is cracking down on these types of marriages and will subject foreign national spouses who violate this principle to deportation/removal proceedings.
However, if your marriage is real and on the verge of dissolution, you may wonder what will happen to your immigration status if the marriage ends. As long as you have entered into a real marriage and have solid documents to prove it, you should not worry about getting divorced.
2-year conditional permanent resident
If you have been granted 2-year conditional permanent residence, you must file an I-751 petition to remove the conditions or residence no later than 90 days before the 2-year green card expires. If your US citizen or LPR spouse refuses to sign the petition, you can apply to waive the joint filing requirement. If you are already divorced, you do not need to follow the 90-day rule. You can file an I-751 petition once your divorce is finalized. You must check the Divorce Waiver box on Form I-751 and submit a copy or your divorce decree with the application and provide proof of a bona fide marriage.
If divorce proceedings are pending, submit a copy of the divorce petition with your I-751 immigration petition and check the box where you are applying for a divorce waiver. Once the divorce is finalized, send a copy of your divorce decree to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) office where your application is pending.
In most cases, applicants requesting a divorce waiver are interviewed by an immigration officer to determine whether their marriage was valid. It is recommended that you hire an experienced immigration attorney to assist you in this process.
10-year green card holder
If you received a 10-year green card, there are no additional immigration applications to file. You can continue to renew your green card or apply for US citizenship. If you are renewing your green card, information about your divorce is not required unless you legally changed your name during the divorce process. If you are applying for US citizenship, you must include a copy of the divorce decree with your application.
US immigration law predicts that marriages will break up. You will not be penalized if your marriage breaks up. You don’t need to be in an abusive or otherwise failed relationship because you got your green card through your spouse. Sometimes divorce is the best decision you can make moving forward in your life.
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