Miami, FL- One of the more common ways immigrants legally enter the U.S. and obtain a green card is by first applying for a marriage-based visa. But sometimes, even though they have the best of intentions when they marry, a couple can’t make their marriage work, and divorce is their next step. Divorce can create headaches for any couple, but when one spouse is an immigrant, who gained entry because they were granted a marriage-based visa, divorce can be problematic.
While marriage-based visa holders are not prohibited from seeking a divorce, it can jeopardize their immigration status, depending on whether they simply held a marriage-based visa or became a lawful permanent resident. So, if you are an immigrant, you should speak with an attorney when you are considering divorce.
When you decide to divorce, and you are just a visa holder, sponsored by a lawful permanent resident or a U.S. citizen, you don’t have any right to remain in the U.S. There are no further steps to you can take to remain. If you are not a lawful permanent resident or haven’t filed for an immigrant visa, you may receive an order of removal once your divorce is finalized.
On the other hand, if you have been granted an immigration visa or legal permanent residency status (green card), getting a divorce won’t lead to an order of removal and isn’t likely to raise the alarm with USCIS.
Applying for citizenship then filing a divorce petition in Miami could elicit unwanted attention. You might set off alarms if you apply for divorce after applying for citizenship and find yourself under scrutiny and forced to prove that you and your estranged spouse did not enter the marriage solely to gain legal status. If immigration agents suspect you of immigration fraud, you will come have to prove your marriage was legitimate otherwise you face deportation. That’s the worst case scenario, one of which you can avoid by talking to an attorney to discuss your immigration status and the effect it will have on your divorce.
Filing for divorce after you have been granted conditional residence, which is a green card that is granted to an immigrant whose marriage is less than two years old, could lead to problems when immigration agents review your case.
That review will take place two years after the date you applied for your green card. If you have been granted a divorce or annulment during that time, you will have to provide evidence that you entered the marriage with the right intentions, but your relationship broke down.
Divorcing is complicated, and immigration issues can make things even more difficult. It’s crucial for you to enlist a divorce lawyer in Miami to help with the issues they can or point you in the right direction if they can’t. USAttorneys can connect you with an attorney who is familiar with Florida’s divorce laws and can assist you with all aspects of your divorce claim.