When a marriage fails, it is often the best policy to make a clean break and divorce. The foreign spouse can then work independently to try and salvage the green card.
I married an American citizen and got my green card with two year conditional status. We were married in April 2010 but she is filing for divorce now. I need to file to remove conditional status when the 2 year mark is up. I want to know what my rights are so I don’t lose my green card and my children that were all born in the US. I have two children with my current wife. I am concerned that the condition on my green card may not be removed if we divorce now.
Thank you for your inquiry. It helps to know when you received your conditional green card based on marriage. You are aware you must file to remove conditional status within 3 months prior to the 2nd anniversary of the issuance date of your green card.
Condition removal generally requires that you remain married until the condition is removed and also requires that your U.S. citizen spouse participate in filing for removal. You are concerned whether you might be able to obtain a permanent green card under the circumstances.
You should proceed with the divorce since the marriage has failed. So often, clients will resist filing for divorce, hoping that the U.S. citizen will cooperate and support removal of conditional status. In this situation, immigration officers often detect there is a problem and the U.S. citizen begins to withdraw support out of fear of lying to an immigration officer or out of lack of concern for you. In this case, it is best to make a clean break by pursuing a divorce from your wife. You must then try and remove conditional status independently without the support of your wife and despite the fact that you are divorced.
A divorce will put you in a much stronger position than to try and pretend you are still involved in a relationship that has failed. If your relationship does not seem sincere, it will look as if you are trying to deceive immigration officers regarding your marriage.
There is a good chance you can succeed in obtaining a permanent green card by acting independently. I invite you to please call me to discuss further. I can help.