Often during a divorce, the U.S. citizen feels an attachment to the foreign spouse and wants to see the spouse keep the green card.
Some want to delay a divorce until conditional status on the green card is removed. Any maneuvering like this is asking for trouble. It can be illegal. It also can affect the U.S. citizen if in the future he or she meets another foreigner to immigrate. At that point, the immigration history will be examined. It can be easy for an experienced immigration officer to suspect foul play and resist approving on the new case. Here is a typical example of questions received with answer below.
I brought my fiancee here on a K1 visa and we married 1 month later. We’ve been married almost 2 years and her 2-year green card expires in November. But 9 months ago she left me for another man and now says she wants to ruin my life. I’ve asked her for a divorce but she refuses to give me one. Maybe because of her status, I don’t know. I certainly don’t want to hurt someone that I loved so much, so if she wants to stay in the USA it’s okay with me. But our marriage is broken and I want her to let me go. What are my options?
William, Protect yourself. In the future you may find another love, then you will regret helping her keep her green card. Your immigration history will follow you and will be open for inspection.
Green cards are the property of the U.S. government. It is not up to you to decide whether she gets to keep it. You need to do your part and end the relationship. If that causes a problem with her immigration, so be it. It can look peculiar if you file for divorce immediately after conditional status on her green card is removed.
It may still be possible to obtain a green card for her without your involvement. If you like you can refer her to our offices so that I can see what we can do for her. You would simply proceed with divorce as normal.
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Carol Ruiz says
My son-in-law was granted LPR status in November 2013. He came to the US under a K-1 visa in 2011.
The marriage of five years is in shambles and my daughter wants to get a divorce. We signed a I-864 for sponsorship for the husband. Son-in-law will be eligible (unless the divorce is final prior to 5-16-14) to apply for citizenship this spring, but he does not understand the civics or read English at all and we don’t expect him to pass the test. We understand our obligations under the sponsorship.
My daughter needs to file taxes and purchase health insurance as an individual but is concerned about the looming I-864. She is considering just fling for the divorce in hopes her ex-husband will continue to work and enforcement of the I-864 against our family will not occur. In the event the I-864 is enforced by the govt, are we sponsors forced to pay the 125% above the poverty level even if the LPR is not bothering to work or works for cash only? Can the govt take money from our Social Security Benefits, IRAs, force the sale of our home and assets? What are the responsibilities of the LPR in the enforcement of the I-864 Affidavit of Support? It is impossible to continue this marriage while waiting for the husband to learn to write and understand English or Civics as he puts forth no effort to accomplish this task towards citizenship and the couple would have to continue to file taxes and be liable for each other.
This case to us is a roll of dice and it appears there is no legal way out except to file a divorce and hope for the best. We appreciate any advice or insight you may have.
Allan Lolly says
I have materials that I provide to my clients to try and help lessen this problem. I did not help with green card processing in your daughter’s case, and so perhaps the best thing would be to have a paid phone consultation. I offer value for services. If you want to discuss, can you please contact me off-post?
Kind regards, Allan