Memphis immigration lawyer Ari Sauer provides news and information on US immigration law.
CAN I GET A DIVORCE IF I HAVE CONDITIONAL RESIDENCE?
By Ari Sauer, immigration lawyer with the Memphis, Tennessee office of the Siskind Susser immigration law firm.
QUESTION: I have my 2-year conditional Green Card based on marriage. It has been 6 months since we married. Unfortunately, my wife has been very abusive in the relationship and has been threatening me constantly with divorce knowing full well that I am dependent on her for my Green Card. But, now that I have received the conditional Green Card, do I have to stay in this relationship anymore? If I do decide to divorce her will I lose my conditional Green Card? Am I at least safe until the end of the 2 years when my card expires?
THE IMMIGRATION ANSWER MAN: Someone who receives a green card based upon a marriage to a US citizen or US permanent resident, and the marriage was less than two years old at the time the person was granted permanent resident status, they will receive a 2-year Conditional Permanent Residence. This means that the green card will be valid for only two years.
If the couple remains together, then they must jointly file an application to have the condition removed. They will file this application during the 90 days prior to the expiration date on the green card.
But there is no requirement to stay in a difficult marriage. If the couple files for divorce before the two years are up, the green card holder can still file to have the condition removed from their green card. They will file the application to remove the condition from their card as soon as the divorce is finalized, even if it is more than 90 days before their card expires. They will be required to provide proof that the marriage was real and that they did not marry just to get the green card. Alternatively, if the person was abused by their US citizen or permanent resident spouse, they can apply to have the condition removed even before their divorce is finalized, but they will need to show that the marriage was real and not entered into to get their green card and they will also have to prove that they were abused.
You can call 901-507-4270 to schedule a consultation appointment with me for assistance with filing the application to remove the condition from your green card or to discuss any other immigration matter.
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Submit questions to The Immigration Answer Man by emailing your question to firstname.lastname@example.org or by posting your question on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. Questions submitted by email will be posted without the personal information unless specifically requested. Due to the volume of questions received, not all questions submitted will be answered. Only general questions can be answered on this blog. For answers to specific questions about your situation, please schedule a consultation.
Last updated March 11, 2013.
* This is an advertisement. Ari Sauer is a Memphis immigration lawyer with the Siskind Susser law firm. www.visalaw.com/ari. On this blog we answer questions as a service to our readers, but we cannot assume any liability related to reliance on anything herein, and responses to questions are not intended to establish an attorney-client relationship. Immigration laws and regulations are constantly changing and the rules stated may not apply to your situation. Readers are cautioned to schedule a consultation with an immigration lawyer before acting on anything stated in this blog. This blog is not intended to substitute for a consultation with a qualified immigration law attorney. Ari Sauer is licensed to practice law through the states of Tennessee, New York and New Jersey but is eligible to assist clients from throughout the US. Certification as an Immigration Specialist is not currently available in Tennessee, New York or New Jersey. Siskind Susser limits its practice strictly to immigration law, a Federal practice area, and we do not claim expertise in the laws of states other than where our attorneys are licensed.