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What Happens To A Green Card During A Divorce? - Katrina S. Zafiro

What Happens To A Green Card During A Divorce?

Divorce is an emotionally devastating event in your life. People process it through stages like they do when they are grieving. Some of the foundational elements of your life have been uprooted, and you are confused, worried, and scared about how to move forward. 

Some people, sadly, are simply in bad marriages and are eager to start a new life as an individual. These people can often feel trapped. As much as they want out of a relationship, they stay for financial security or because they fear the unknown.

Or perhaps they are in the process of being able to live in the United States legally. They either have a lawful permanent resident status (a green card), they are married to someone with one, or they are awaiting their own green card. It is important to note and understand that a lawful permanent resident is not a U.S. citizen. A lawful permanent resident is someone who may eventually file to become a U.S. citizen. Each is its own unique status. 

Green Card Holders 

If you are someone who has a green card, you are a lawful permanent resident of the United States. A divorce may or may not have any significant impact on your ability to retain your permanent resident status. Your marriage status is of no importance once you have a 10-year green card. 

How Your Divorce Can Affect Your Green Card

If you have a two-year green card, also known as conditional lawful permanent resident status, you have to submit a request to have your status changed from conditional to permanent. Both you and your spouse would submit this request. 

However, if your marriage has ended or you are in the middle of the divorce process, then filing your request could be challenging. The burden will be on you to prove that your marriage was genuine. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is going to need you to prove that you did not enter into a marriage just to get a green card. This can be challenging, especially because in some instances, you have to juggle and synchronize the different deadlines required by your immigration filing and your divorce filing.  You could also be dealing with challenging claims made to USCIS by your soon-to-be-former-spouse that your marriage was not legitimate.

Zafiro Law

If you are seeking legal counsel because you are separating from your spouse, or you need representation for family-based immigration and, Zafiro Law can help. 

This area is one of our specialties and we would be glad to assist you.  We are driven by our ability to serve our clients and support them during some of the most stressful times in their lives. Contact us online to schedule a consultation.

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Zafiro Law

As an attorney, I am passionate about helping my clients achieve peace of mind in navigating the complex areas of family law and immigration law. Your case will get my full and dedicated attention—whether you are seeking to navigate the complexities of your family law matter or overcome the challenges of your immigration law case.

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