Immigration Law and Divorce Basics

Immigration Law and Divorce Basics

Divorce is a tricky situation. When you add immigrants to the equation, things get really complicated. Knowing how a divorce can affect a person’s immigration status is significant. Close to 400,000 citizens in the United States are expected to marry individuals from foreign countries per year taking steps to obtain permanent residency for their foreign-born spouses. The legislation notes that U.S.-born immigrants’ partners are deemed to be “immediate kin.” This conditional status is a much easier way to get a green card. If you would like to learn more about this, please check out Toland Law, LLC.

When a marriage fails, you’ll need to address immigration problems and how to handle them. This is particularly true when the children are involved. In most cases the conditional permanent residency would be given to a foreign-born partner going through the divorce process. That means he will continue to remain in the U.S. for another two years. This gives time to take the next steps needed to get permanent residency.

If the foreign-born partner has already received a green card before the marriage ends, she will have what is called a permanent residency without restriction. The only immigration issue that may arise is a delay in gaining full citizenship status. If the marriage to a U.S. citizen ends after three years, and the immigrant partner has not received a green card within five years, he must wait for five years before he can apply for a green card.

If an immigrant partner is in the process of obtaining a green card before the marriage ends, he won’t be able to secure a marriage-based one. Divorce means the partner no longer has the status of a conditional permanent home. If the marital union happened in good faith, a foreign-born spouse may seek termination waiver. This is evidence of the legitimacy of the union and the immigrant partner was not to blame for failing to gain permanent legal resident status.