People often come into the office for a divorce consultation, whether it is a contested-hard fought divorce or an amicable uncontested divorce and ask about potential immigration issues when the divorce is filed/judgment is signed. While I am a divorce and family law attorney in Jersey City, I obviously need to know the essentials of immigration law when it relates to family law and divorce. Every situation is different so if you do want to file for divorce, complete divorce papers, etc., I would need to know your legal status to make sure it will not hurt your immigration status. If I cannot answer it, one of my associates will offer you the advice you need so that you are certain about your decision to obtain a divorce.
Some questions that people ask include:
- I am not a citizen in this country or I am illegal in this country, can I file for divorce? Yes you can.
2. My Spouse (alien status) Has an Unconditional Green Card
If your spouse obtained an unconditional green card, a divorce would have not impact the green card itself. If a divorce occurs prior to the application for United States citizenship, the alien must have been a U.S. permanent resident for 4 years and 9 months before your spouse is eligible to apply for citizenship. So in short, the length of time to become a United States citizen may take longer, it will not effect your green card status.
3. Conditional Green Card and Divorce
If the your spouse has a conditional permanent resident card through marriage, your spouse’s permanent residency may be revoked if the divorce occurs within two years when the green card was given. The conditional resident and his or her spouse must apply jointly to remove the condition. This can be done by filing a joint petition with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). If the petition is filed timely and the USCIS believes that the marriage was still viable, the alien spouse’s condition will be removed.
Again, these are just a few examples but there are many ways to file for divorce and to be able to stay in the United States of America, the greatest country on Earth. If you are seeking a divorce in Jersey City, Hoboken, Union, Paterson, Hackensack, Newark or elsewhere, to file divorce papers soon because you know your marriage is over, contact the Artusa Law Firm team on 201-706-7910 for a free consultation. Evenings and Saturday appointments are available by appointment.