What Happens to Your LPR Status if you Get a Divorce?
You might be surprised to learn that marriage fraud is big business. For example, in 2020 a California resident by the name of Chang Yu “Andy” He was arrested for coordinating sham marriages between Chinese nationals and U.S. citizens in exchange for cash. How much cash? $10,000 up front, then $25,000 when the Chinese national got LPR status and an additional $5000 when the process was done. The nationals themselves paid $60,000 for the service.
So it’s little wonder that USCIS looks long and hard at I-130 applications, and it’s little wonder that there are safeguards in place to ensure that sham marriages are less likely to work.
That means that in some cases divorce can impact your LPR status, as a divorce that happens too fast could indicate a sham marriage.
Check your green card.
You start with a 2-year conditional green card when your I-130 petition is successful. If you are not past that two year date then you are going to need help from an immigration attorney. It is possible to get a divorce and remain in the United States, but you’re going to need a waiver that affirms you entered the marriage in good faith and the marriage has ended through no fault of your own, or that the marriage is ending as a result of domestic violence.
If you had an affair or otherwise caused the divorce you could be on shaky ground. In addition, your new love interest may not be able to successfully sponsor you. Immigration officials tend to be very skeptical of second marriages, especially if they happen within the 2-year conditional period.
If you’ve applied for an adjustment of status and your green card has been made permanent because you’ve been married long enough then you don’t have much to worry about. The green card won’t expire upon the termination of your marriage.
Divorce could complicate a citizenship application.
If you don’t intend to seek citizenship and are past your 2-year conditional period then the divorce won’t really immpact you in any way.
If you intend to seek citizenship the divorce could create a problem. You’ll need to work very closely with your immigration attorney to ensure that your situation is clear to immigration officials. If they have reason to suspect you committed marriage fraud then your green card could be cancelled and your citizenship application denied.
Facing divorce? Not sure how it will impact your immigration benefits? Reach out to the Law Office of John Hykel today.
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