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What if you want to get a divorce after immigrating?

On Behalf of | Jul 22, 2022 | Family Immigration

If you want to get a divorce after immigrating, you could find yourself in precarious position. You may only have a status as a conditional resident right now, which means that if you do nothing, you could lose the right to stay in the country.

If you plan to divorce, one route you can take is to file form I-751, which is the Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence. This can help you stay in the country if you are a conditional permanent resident right now.

When can you file form I-1751?

You can file this form to remove the conditions on your permanent residency on your own if:

  • Your spouse has passed away.
  • You get a divorce or annulment but previously married in good faith.
  • You were subjected to extreme cruelty or were battered by your spouse.
  • Terminating your right to stay in the country would expose you to extreme hardship.

If none of those things are true, you will need to show that you were married to your spouse who was a lawful permanent resident or U.S. citizen for at least two years before your divorce. They will need to sign the documents and apply with you.

When should you apply to remove the conditions of your permanent residency?

You should apply to remove the conditions in the 90-day window leading up to the expiration of your conditional residence. If you fail to do so on time, you could still be removed from the country because of your Green Card expiring.

If you have to file outside of the 90-day period, your conditional permanent resident status can be terminated automatically. You will also have removal proceedings filed against you.

If you’ve receive a notice about those proceedings or get a Notice to Appear at a hearing over your case, you should look into your legal options as soon as possible. With the right evidence and details, you may still be able to show that you did comply with the requirements and that you deserve the right to stay in the country despite divorcing your spouse and ending your marriage.