A divorce can jeopardize immigration status depending on the circumstances and timing. If an alien obtained his or her permanent residence based on the relationship with a U.S. citizen spouse, he or she will be granted conditional permanent residence provided the marriage took place within two years before the permanent residence was obtained. If the marriage is shorter than two years, the alien spouse may request a waiver based on good-faith marriage, hardship or domestic violence or abuse.
The U.S. immigration authorities routinely prosecute claims of fraudulent marriage based on suspicions that one or both spouses lacked the good faith intentions required for a change in legal status based on marriage. If investigators suspect that a marriage was fraudulent, they can take steps to prevent citizenship or initiate deportation proceedings. It is important for divorcing spouses to consider these issues when one or both spouses obtained their residency through marriage.
At Next Legal, our legal professionals have a good working knowledge of the potentially applicable U.S. immigration laws in order to assist clients with these issues. We may advise clients on the fundamentals or recommend consultation with an immigration attorney, as needed to ensure that unnecessary status problems will be avoided.
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