Divorce And The Effect On Immigration Status
Immigration, in a few cases, can be affected by divorce. This is specially applicable for people who has immigrated to the United States based on marriage which has, until that time, not completed two years at the time the said person has gained entry into the United States. The conditional resident, if he or she wants to obtain a status of full permanent residence, should file the requisite petition with US Citizenship and Immigration Services or USCIS. This must be done before second anniversary of being admitted into the country. If the marriage is intact at that point of time, the immigrant spouse will get full permanent residence. On the other hand, if the marriage gets dissolved, the concerned immigrant spouse will lose his or her status. The person could get deported.
Sponsored spouse and divorce
In case you have sponsored the immigration application of your spouse and find yourself at the end of your marriage, you must withdraw the sponsorship as quickly as possible. This is as you have assumed all responsibilities of being supportive of your spouse and the latter’s dependents. When you signed affidavit of support, you have accepted all the legal responsibility when it comes to financially supporting all sponsored immigrants until the time they become citizens of the United States. Do note that a divorce will not terminate all financial responsibilities towards the immigrant spouse prior to he or she gaining US citizenship. Your responsibility will be over only if your spouse exits the US. You must withdraw any Affidavit of Support and the Petition for Alien Relatives as quickly as possible in case divorce proceedings are near.
Post divorce immigration applications
When the USCIS have to make a decision on a particular immigration application based on marriage, the immigrant spouse will then be regarded as out of status when the marriage is dissolved. A strong possibility exists that your alien spouse could be departed after the divorce is finalized.
Maintaining immigration status
If you are an alien spouse and is conditional alien resident being in the US for a minimum of two years, then you will have no need to ask for your partner’s help when it comes to processing I-751 petition. You can ask for a waiver if the marriage is lesser than two years. This waiver can be based on grounds like extreme hardship on deportation, battered spouse or termination of good faith marriage. Having a child also halts deportation proceedings.
Getting divorced in California can be complicated. Download our free eBook, 18 Important Things to Know About California Divorce to educate yourself on the process.