Often times, I will see people who have conditional green cards and unfortunately, they are getting a divorce, or they are already divorced prior to the time they need to file for their permanent green card. A 751 generally is filed jointly with your spouse, but as we know, there are times when you and your spouse separate and you can no longer live together. It is not the end of your green card and those situations are certainly fixable. We do them all the time. In general, if you are divorced from your spouse, there is a box on the I-751 petition which indicates that you were married in good faith, but the marriage has been terminated due to divorce or annulment. It is fine to check that box, but you also have to demonstrate to immigration that although you’re divorced, the marriage was entered into good faith. The short answer is, if you’re divorced, yes, you certainly can go ahead with your 751. They certainly can be approved as long as you can demonstrate that it was a certified marriage. If you are still in a good relationship with your ex-husband/ex-wife, then you can ask him/her to submit an affidavit, although, I understand that is not often feasible. It would be a good idea for your to include an affidavit, as well, from yourself and other family members about the relationship, how you met, what went wrong, why you got divorced, but explaining that the intention all along was real, that it wasn’t for a green card. If you are in a situation where you are getting a divorce, or you are divorced and you need to file a 751, it’s really important to speak with an experienced immigration lawyer, such as myself, to help you through the process.
Cheryl R. David is an experienced immigration attorney working in New York City. Please contact us for your free initial consultation.