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Will Getting Divorced Affect My Immigration Status?

When getting married, you hope the commitment will last your whole life. Divorce can cause a lot of stress in every corner of your life, but what does it look like if your immigration status is also something caught in the mix? In this blog, we will break down what could happen to your immigration status if you get divorced.


Depending on the timeline of when the marriage and divorce took place, some authenticating might need to take place. This means the government will look into the marriage to see if it was real or just used for immigration purposes. When immigrants enter into marriages, the United States government will allow “conditional residency.” Conditional residency is a two-year period in which the government waits and tests the validity of the marriage. Toward the end of their two-year period, many couples have to present proof of their marriage. Examples would be any loans taken out together, large purchases, or birth certificates of children.

If you get a divorce before the conditional residency ends, it doesn’t automatically mean you’re in hot water. Many marriages end in divorce, and a divorce doesn’t indicate the marriage was fraudulent. At the end of the conditional residence, you have to submit an I-751 form, which files to authenticate your marriage and provides full residency. When filing an I-751, when a marriage ends in divorce, the spouse who immigrated to the United States must ask for a waiver of joint filing. This way, they can file without their, now, ex-spouse.

Green Card

If you were a green card holder before your marriage, your immigration status should not change. Though, you could potentially face a more extended waiting period before you are allowed to become a naturalized citizen. The typically increased timeline is now five years instead of three.

Are you facing a divorce and uncertainty about your immigration status? Contact Yacub Law Offices at (703) 552-5051! We are the leading experts in fighting for immigrant rights in the United States.