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What You Need to Know About Divorce & Immigration

Corbaci Law, P.C. June 22, 2022

Immigration lawDivorce is one of the most stressful life events you can experience. When an individual who is an immigrant goes through a divorce, it also creates complications for their immigration status. If you are definitely going to get a divorce or if you are considering one, working with an immigration attorney can help you understand your rights after divorce.

At our firm, Corbaci Law, P.C., our attorneys have personal experience with the immigration process as we both have been immigrants. We understand the excitement and the challenges that come with starting a new life in a new country. We are passionate about providing skilled legal representation to our clients to pursue real solutions. Corbaci Law, P.C. proudly serves clients in Woburn, Massachusetts, as well as Boston, Marlborough, Framingham, and the nearby areas.

Will a Divorce Affect My Immigration Status?

Individuals who have immigrated to the United States may wonder how divorce will affect their immigration status. The answer depends on whether you are here illegally or what type of green card holder you are. 

I Am Here Illegally

If you are in the United States illegally, then a divorce will make it more difficult for you to apply for a green card. More specifically, if you have been in the United States for more than 180 days illegally, and you then go through a divorce, it can create complications. If you still want to immigrate to the United States, you may have to wait for three to ten years. Speak with an experienced immigration attorney to learn more.

I Am a Green Card Holder

On the other hand, the process is different if you are a current green card holder and you go through a divorce. 

If you have been in the United States and have been married to your spouse for two years or less, then you will need to prove two things. You must prove that you entered into the marriage in good faith and that you are not at fault for the failed marriage. These conditions must be met as a conditional green card holder.

However, if you are a permanent green card holder, then a divorce will not affect your immigration status. Consult with a knowledgeable immigration attorney to learn more.

Will a Divorce Affect the Children of an Immigrant?

Children are always impacted emotionally by divorce. But, whether a divorce will affect their immigration status depends on the specific situation. A step-child of an immigrant and a U.S. citizen may not lose the permanent residency status that was obtained by his or her parent who is going through a divorce. 

However, this only applies if more than two years have passed since the marriage and if the green card status is permanent and not conditional. If the divorce takes place before the parent receives their permanent green card, then the child, like their parent, will lose their immigration status.

Does Divorce Prevent Me From Ever Getting My Green Card?

Divorce does not necessarily prevent an individual from ever getting a green card. However, it can make the process more complicated. 

For example, if the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services believes that your marriage was a fraud that you only entered into to gain your immigration status, then that could ultimately prevent you from getting your green card. It is helpful to speak with an immigration attorney to learn more about the process.

Will Divorce Affect My Ability to Become a Citizen?

It is possible that your divorce will affect your ability to be granted U.S. citizenship. After three years of permanent residency due to marriage to a U.S. citizen, you can apply for citizenship. But, if you divorce before the three years of marriage is over, then you will have to wait five years before applying for U.S. citizenship.

Legal Guidance You Can Trust

Divorce should always be an option, but it can complicate your immigration process. With the help of an experienced immigration attorney, you can be confident that you’ll receive experienced legal guidance on these important matters. At Corbaci Law, P.C., we will be with you each step of the way to answer all your questions. We proudly serve clients in Woburn, Massachusetts, as well as Boston, Marlborough, Framingham, and the nearby areas. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.