Do I Lose my 2-Year green card if my US Citizen Spouse Leaves?

What happens if your husband left you in the middle of when you were supposed to apply for your permanent green card? You already have your conditional card. It’s a year into having your green card and you need to apply for your permanent green card a year from now and your husband or wife has left. What do you do? You still can go ahead and get your permanent green card. My suggestion generally in cases like that where you see that there’s no reconciliation and you’re not going to get back together with your spouse, is to go ahead and file for a divorce. The timing will depend on when your 751 is due. If it’s a year into your green card and you have another year for your 751, then most likely, you’ll have a divorce prior to when you need to file the 751. There are also situations where right before you’re about to apply for your 751, you and your spouse split up and you are about to file for a divorce. You can still file your 751 under the category that says, “I’m divorced.”

What will happen is when immigration gets to your file, they are going to see that you’ve filed the box that says “divorced.” They are not going to see a divorce; they are only going to see an action for divorce. You are going to want to include that with your petition. Then they are going to send you a request for evidence, what we commonly call an RFE. They are going to give you 87 days to respond back showing that there is a final divorce. You would submit that divorce to immigration. Along with evidence there’s a divorce pending, you definitely want to keep in mind that you must show immigration that this was a bona fide marriage.

In the worst case scenario and what would be common in a situation like this, was that you would be called in for an interview to discuss the marital situation and what happened. Don’t be frightened. It’s very common if you’re no longer filing a petition with your spouse that you’d be called into immigration because they are going to want to make sure that you were in a valid relationship. Hopefully, at the interview, your case will be approved. If you have questions about what to do, if you are in the process of getting a divorce or you think you want to get a divorce and leave your spouse, please contact me to discuss the situation. It’s an unpleasant situation personally, but for immigration purposes, we could probably assist you and get this done for you and ease your mind while you can deal with your home situation.

Click here to if you have any questions regarding immigration law or citizenship. Cheryl David is an experienced immigration attorney in New York City. Contact her for a free initial consultation.