When you marry a U.S. citizen, you’re entitled to a green card. Your green card allows you to live and work anywhere in the United States. But what happens if you divorce before getting a green card? Here’s what you need to know.
What Happens if You Divorce Before Getting a Green Card?
Divorce can affect your green card status, but it depends on what stage of the process you’re currently in when you choose to split from your spouse. You’ll have a different outcome if you divorce:
- After you apply, but before you receive your green card
- After you receive a conditional green card
- After you have the conditions removed from your green card
Divorce After Applying for, but Before Receiving, a Green Card
If you divorce before the U.S. government approves your green card, your entire immigration process comes to a halt. Your divorce ends the relationship that made you eligible for a green card, so you can’t continue your application.
Related: New green card rules
Divorce With a Conditional Green Card
If you’ve been married for fewer than two years and still have conditions on your green card, your divorce can affect the process. You’ll most likely have to work with your Wisconsin immigration attorney to ask the government to waive the joint filing requirement, and you’ll have to prove that you entered into your marriage in good faith (rather than simply for the immigration benefit).
Divorce With a Conditions Removed From Your Green Card
If you no longer have conditions on your green card and divorce your spouse, there’s a good chance that your process will be unaffected. You can typically remain in the U.S. on your green card and renew it when necessary. You can even change your name on your green card after filing the appropriate forms. However, you do need to know that if you later apply for citizenship, U.S. Customs and Immigration Services will reevaluate your entire case.
Do You Need to Talk to a Wisconsin Immigration Attorney About Your Green Card?
If you’re an immigrant considering divorce, we may be able to help you – both with the divorce and with your immigration process. Call our office at 414-383-6700 now to talk to someone who can answer your questions and help you start moving forward in the right direction.