How long after getting a Green Card Can I get a Divorce?

The card which provides proof of legitimate residency status with the right to live and work anywhere in the United States, provided by U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is known as theGreen Card“. However, you need to know an answer to how long after getting a green card can I get a divorce.

A green card signifies a permanent resident card. It acts as an identity document that shows the permanent residency of a person. In other words, the lawful permanent residents are known as green cardholders.

According to an estimate, there are approximately 13.9 million Green Card holders. There are 9.1 million people legitimate to become United States citizens and 65000  serve as the United States Armed officers.

Understanding the status of this identity document

If you have got a green card through marriage to you are a permanent US citizen. Thus, getting a divorce from him or her can pose a threat to your citizenship. The US immigration laws make it very clear that only the married are valid and can qualify as an immigrant for a green card.

Many couples were once committed to one another and deeply in love even their relationship can fall apart. However, they have their green cards after divorce as well. 

USCIS tries to keep a check on fraudulent marriages. Therefore, if you take a divorce immediately after getting a Green Card then USCIS might look into your matter.

Should you file an I-130 visa petition before the divorce?

If you have filed an application for immigration on the I-130 visa petition then, it won’t help you. This is because the petition will just start the immigration process. It has nothing to do with the status of your green card after you get a divorce.

It will not provide the immigrant with any kind of right to remain in the US. Therefore, if your marriage is at this point you will not be admitted are legible as a US immigrant.

Getting approval for Conditional Residence 

If you are approved for a conditional residence after you have already applied for a green card then you will have to face some challenges by USCIS. The conditional residence is given to those whose marriages are less than 2 years old and they will look into your matter intently.

The US review will take place after you have applied for conditional residence and have submitted your USCIS Form I-751. This form will remove all your conditions on your residence. Thus, you become a permanent resident of the US.

Both spouses have to sign the form as a joint petition. Because this will tell us that marriage is still real and going on.

You need to ask for a waiver for the joint filing of the petition after you get a divorce on a personal petition that you sign. There needs to be convincing evidence to prove that marriage was real even if it ended before you wanted it. 

The evidence will consist of the documents which you gave to the USCIS before filing the petition such as your bank card credit statements, children’s birth certificates, showing accounts that you both held together.

You should try to show the most recent documents and should not duplicate the evidence which you submitted to USCIS.

The statements made during the marriage counseling by the marriage counselors can work as a good piece of evidence. Because fraudulent people, will not be able to produce such documents because they tend to avoid marriage counselors.

If your Form I-751 is due your immigration status becomes more complicated because your divorce is yet to be finalized. 

Opportunity to apply for US Citizenship

USCIS will get another chance to review your immigration status and marriage if you apply for citizenship in the US. If they found that your marriage was fraudulent then you will be asked to provide evidence to prove that your marriage was the real one and it was bonafide.

After going through all the processes you will have documentation that you can give to USCIS. This is a requirement for proving that your marriage was real, but you should try to use the most recent documentation. Also, try to show that your marriage is the real one.

If in case you are not able to prove the legitimacy of your marriage or the reality of your marriage, then the USCIS may not only cancel your immigration status but also will refer you Immigration Court for Permanent removal from the US.

Author’s note

You should consult an experienced immigration attorney if you want to apply for a conditional green card. You can also apply for citizenship of the USA, for a personal analysis of the issue. Whether the annulment of marriage can affect your immigration status or your request for a waiver. 

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