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Will you be deported if you get divorced?

On Behalf of | Jan 18, 2023 | Immigration Law

No matter how much you might wish it to be otherwise, your head never rules your heart. You can fall in love unexpectedly – and fall out of love just the same.

When you fell in love with a U.S. citizen, you really believed that “happily ever after” was in your future, but things simply didn’t turn out that way. The romance has faded, and married life has definitely lost its allure.

You still love living in the United States, however, and you’d hate to leave it. You’re worried that since you got your green card through marriage that you’ll be deported if you decide to seek a divorce. Here’s what you need to know:

Are you within or without the two-year conditional period?

When you were granted a marriage green card, it came with a two-year conditional period. This is done so that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has time to determine whether or not the marriage was actually valid.

If you divorce before those two years are up and before the conditional status has been removed, you will likely incur additional scrutiny and questions. That doesn’t necessarily mean you will face deportation, but you will need evidence that you entered the marriage in good faith.

Have you filed your joint petition to remove the conditions on your green card?

Once the two-year conditional period has passed, couples can file a joint 1-751 Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence together to convert the immigrant spouse’s green card to an unconditional one. If you and your spouse have already done so and it has been approved, you will likely face no real immigration problems should you seek a divorce.

But, what if your spouse is holding back on that petition in a deliberate attempt to control you and keep you from leaving? It’s still possible to submit your petition with a waiver request, and that can allow you to obtain your freedom while still remaining in the U.S.

Family-based immigration can get complicated, especially when the main family unit has fractured. Find out how experienced legal guidance can help you.