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.