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Can you lose your green card if you get a divorce?

On Behalf of | Mar 6, 2024 | Family Immigration |

If you became a “permanent resident” of the U.S. and received your green card when you married your spouse, you likely went through multiple interviews by authorities who wanted to make sure that your marriage was real. The U.S government takes green cards very seriously. 

So what happens to your green card if you and your spouse divorce? Generally, you can remain in the U.S. as long as you and your spouse didn’t commit “marriage fraud” to get your green card.

Is your green card still conditional?

If you have had your green card for less than two years, it’s considered conditional. That means you and your spouse will need to file form I-751 before the two-year conditional period expires to remove the conditional status. If you’re in the middle of divorce, that can be tricky. What if your spouse refuses to sign the form?

If your spouse won’t cooperate with removing your conditional status, you can apply for a waiver through the United States Customs and Immigration Service (USCIS). The USCIS usually requires proof of divorce, however, for a waiver unless a person has been the victim of domestic violence. If your spouse won’t sign the form and you aren’t yet divorced, it’s a good idea to get legal guidance.

What if you already have permanent resident status?

If you’re past that conditional period and are a full-fledged permanent resident, getting a divorce probably won’t change that. Unless a person has committed a crime that is grounds for deportation, they won’t lose their green card if they divorce. 

What if your spouse threatens to falsely claim that the marriage was a scam to get you a green card just to get back at you? If they do, they’re admitting to a crime that could land them in federal prison. That will likely make them think twice before trying something like that.

If you have any worries about how your divorce will affect your status here in the U.S., it’s a good idea to get the help you need to protect your rights.


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