How Can Divorce Affect Immigration Status in the U.S.?

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How Can Divorce Affect Immigration Status in the U.S.?

Navigating the intricacies of the immigration process can be daunting, more so when dealing with personal matters like divorce. One question that often arises is how divorce can affect the immigration status of a foreign national in the U.S. This blog delves into this topic and provides some insights.

Introduction to Immigration Status and Divorce

Immigration status refers to the legal standing of a foreign individual in a country. It determines their rights and privileges, including the right to live, work, and study. One common path to obtaining immigration status in the U.S. is through marriage to a citizen or a lawful permanent resident. However, when a divorce occurs, it can potentially jeopardize an individual’s ability to maintain their immigration status.

Effect of Divorce on Conditional Residency

Conditional residency is granted to individuals who have been married for less than two years at the time of obtaining a green card. The condition is essentially a two-year trial period to ensure the marriage is not fraudulent. If a divorce occurs before the end of this conditional period, it could cast doubt on the legitimacy of the marriage.

In such instances, it becomes crucial to remove conditions from the green card. This usually involves filing a petition with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) demonstrating that the marriage was entered into in good faith. Engaging an experienced immigration lawyer can be immensely beneficial in navigating this process.

Effect of Divorce on Permanent Residency

For those who have already obtained permanent residency status through marriage, a divorce does not automatically revoke their status. However, if the divorce raises suspicions of marriage fraud, USCIS may initiate a re-examination of the case to determine the legitimacy of the marriage. It is essential to have appropriate legal representation during such proceedings to protect one’s rights.

Immigration Fraud and Divorce

Committing fraud in marriage-based immigration, such as entering into a fraudulent marriage solely to obtain a green card, can lead to severe legal consequences. If an individual is undergoing divorce proceedings while being investigated for immigration fraud, it can complicate matters further and potentially lead to the revocation of immigration benefits.

Considerations for Those Going Through a Divorce

Given these complexities, individuals going through a divorce should consider the following:

  • Engage an experienced immigration lawyer to understand the potential impact of divorce on immigration status and explore available options.
  • Provide necessary documentation and evidence to prove the legitimacy of the marriage and the good faith intention behind it.
  • Consult with an attorney well-versed in both immigration and divorce law to ensure that divorce proceedings do not negatively affect the immigration case.
  • Act promptly and avoid delays in seeking legal counsel to preserve the best chance of maintaining immigration status.

Contact Our Experienced Immigration Lawyers

While divorce can potentially affect immigration status, knowing your rights, understanding the process, and seeking timely legal advice can help mitigate the impact. At Kriezelman Burton & Associates, LLC, we are dedicated to providing professional legal representation in all areas of immigration and nationality law. Our attorneys are well-versed in the field and can assist individuals and businesses with their immigration needs. Contact us today to schedule a confidential consultation.