My husband is in his first year of conditional green card status. I have filed for divorce. How will this affect his status?
My husband is in his first year of conditional green card status. I have filed for divorce. How will this affect his status?
After 2 years he must apply for the removal of the conditions jointly with you and bring support documents that you still are married. Some individuals are able to file separately if they have strong support documents that demostrate that their marriage was bona fide or because extreme circumstances like abuse, etc happened even if they are in divorce proceedings, I don't know about if they already divorce neither the statistics about that. Now saying this, your responsabilities as a financial sponsor doesn't stop with divorce, check the Affidavit of Support that you signed.
I wonder why do you EVEN care how would your 'divorce filing' (or even finalization of divorce) affect your alien-husband's immigration status? I've been actually around to so many immigration websites for so many years, and whenever I see this type of question being asked from a US citizen-spouse then 99.999% of the times, the marriage between parties are happened to be a fake marriage even though US citizen-spouse furiously claims to have a bonafide marriage and also claims that s/he is asking this question just because s/he STILL LOVES/CARES about his/her alien spouse.
I mean if US citizen-spouses love/care about their alien-spouses that much, then why did they even file for divorce at first place even though they would sugarcoat it by claiming that it was SO HARD for them to stay in the marriage? Otherwise, it makes no sense why does a US citizen ask this question if s/he has already decided to end the marital relationship with an alien-spouse. Not judging you, but telling you all this based upon my own observation and experiences.
Anyway, as for your specific question then if your divorce gets final by the time your husband would require to file I-751 (a petition to remove the condition), which is 9 more months from now on as you said that he has conditional green card for one year, then he will be by his own. You have no part in his immigration journey at all. He can file this petition without you to remove the temporary condition on his green card, but nobody can guarantee his chances of succeeding; rather his chances would entirely depend on the supporting documents he would submit along with this petition to prove the bonafide of his marriage to you if he would request a waiver for filing I-751 based upon a bonafide marriage which ended in divorce. In order to file this petition by himself, he could file this petition under any other waiver as well, such as battered spouse. Of course, he would need a ton of evidences then.
Just want to make you clear about one more important fact. About him being eligible for filing this petition by his own after the divorce, doesn't mean he would automatically be qualified for an approval on I-751. A green card in marriage-based cases is issued to aliens for the sake of US citizens, and not for the sake of aliens alone. Though immigration laws allow aliens to file this petition I-751 by their own, but there is never a guarantee of its approval unless aliens would have enough evidences to prove the bonafide of their marriage with a US citizen.
Nothing will happen to you, nor you have to do anything. He will be by himself from now on. Your financial responsibilites as a result of previously filed I-864 for him would end if you won't join him on I-751. Because his status is still temporary. Thus, stop worrying about him since you have already decided to end your marriage. Let him worry about all this.
Last edited by JohnnyCash; 15th January 2006 at 05:16 PM.
I do believe that it was a bonafide marriage and I did love my spouse with all of my heart. He had some very serious addictions, however, that I didn't find out about until after our marriage. He does not believe that he has any problems and does not believe he needs any kind of counseling. I am concerned about the status question because number one, I am not so vindictive that I would want to see him have to leave the country, and number two, I don't know if I need to do anything with immigration to protect myself from being financially liable for him. I have children from a previous marriage that I'm responsible for and I need to ensure that I will always be able to provide for them. He is a professional and makes an excellent living, so financial liability shouldn't be an issue but I'm having difficulty finding information. I read on an immigration law site that a citizen spouse should withdraw their papers, but that seems extreme.
Your husband will be able to file for a waiver from the requirement to bring you to the interview. He has to proove that you guys had a bona-fide marriage and that he did his part to maintain that marriage. He can do that by bringing affidavits from people familiar with your situation, documentation about your life together (tax return, lease with both names, common bank accounts) etc. He might even ask you for an affidavit for the immigration service. This by no means guarantees that he will be successful in getting the condition removed, but this filing is done quite often and there are plenty of people who succeed. What helps his situation is that you filed for divorce and not him.
If he is indeed a professional, he should try to get an immigration case based on his work started ASAP so he has a fall-back solution for the case that the goverment denies his request for a waiver. If the waiver is denied, he is given a timeframe to leave the country and unless he committed a crime there will be plenty of opportunities for him to fight these removal proceedings.
As for your liability:
#1 You filed an 'affidavit of support' for him during the I130 stage of the process. If memory serves me right, the goverment can use this to hold you liable if he starts receiving certain welfare benefits for 2 years after this affidavit was filed (e.g. if he looses his job, applies for social security disability and medicaid). The goverment rarely goes after people who provided affidavits of support, but the theoretical possibility does exist.
#2 If the goverment decides that you guys committed marriage fraud in order to obtain an immigration benefit for him, they could potentially go after you for that. If you guys where in fact married, lived together etc, the likelihood of this happening is rather slim.
Thank you for your reply. I appreciate the information. It's good to know that he has other options available to him and also that the chances would be slim for me to be held financially liable.
I think the best idea for both of you would be to go to a good immigration attorney to discuss the implications of your divorce and the options for him.
Take any 'advice' from an anonymous internet forum with a lot of caution. There are a couple of real whackos around here. I am not an attorney, don't rely on my or any other posters information for that matter.
Your point is well taken. He has a very good immigration attorney. I have just been confused about what, if anything, I am supposed to do and I'm finding that family law attorneys specializing in divorce don't know a lot about immigration. If I know that he has other options available and that it's unlikely that I would be held financially liable--that's what I was concerned about. Thanks again.
The only time you are held financially liable is if your ex-husband becomes a 'public charge'. I think the chances of that happening are rather slim. The only time this has happened are the rather blatant cases of system abuse. (People who bring their parents in, file the affidavit of support etc and from the airport they head to the medicaid office claiming eligibility because they have 'no income').
You say here that you don't know if you need to do anything with immigration to protect yourself from being financially liable for him, but I think even an idiot can read that your initially asked the impact of divorce on his immigration status, which proves in itself that you are here to know his chances of succeeding in immigration game after your divorce, and not about protecting yourself from any financial liability towards him; otherwise you would have asked that question initially.Originally Posted by anne_01
In your initial posting, did you say anything about NOT BEING VINDICTIVE, and about PROTECTING YOURSELF FROM ANY FINANCIAL LIABILITY? If not, then why ONLY NOW you are talking about all this? You initial question was about only one concern as to the impact of your divorce on his immigration status. That is all. Don't try to sugarcoat things here ONLY NOW when I discussed about marriage fraud in this kind of situation. I'm not stupid. I was an immigration attorney, thus I know all the tricks in the book.
Nobody ever admits involving in fake marriage even if someone is definitely involved in such kind of sham marriage. However, I'm not saying that your marriage is indeed sham marriage. All I've said that in the light of your question-it suggests that your marriage is indeed a fake marriage. It has nothing to do whether you are a vindictive person or not. And I did not ask you why you have decided to end the marriage; rather what I've said earlier that if you REALLY care about his immigration status then you had not filed divorce because once parties get divorced then NOBODY can tell if alien would surely able to obtain the full green card.
Also, you have overlooked the fact that qualifying for filing I-751 is a different thing and getting approval on I-751 is another. This being said, just because your husband will be able to file I-751 by his own based upon divorce decree, that doesn't mean he will be able to prevail in this immigration game, especially when a green card in a marriage based case is granted for the sake of US citizen, and not for the sake of alien.
I think you should read my above reply again which is directed towards your initial question wherein I said very clearly that if you care that much about his immigration status, then you should not have filed for divorce. You can still withdraw your divorce and file once he gets his full green card if you REALLY still care about him; otherwise don't talk about not being vindictive or anything else and let him figure it out how he would gain his full green card. There is nothing you can withdraw. If anyone has told you about withdrawing then s/he is wrong. How can you withdraw anything, when nothing is pending?
It seems to me that you want both- a cake and icing on it. I mean-on one hand you want to divorce him because of WHATEVER REASON, but then on the other hand-you want US govt. to give him full green card so that he doesn't have to leave this country. Hello??? US govt. gave him the permission to live here because of marriage, then how can you expect them to still allow him to live here as if green cards are given for donation. Sorry. You cannot have both eggs in your bag. You've got to loose something. If you divorce him then NOBODY can tell you about his chances of obtaining a full green card. He can surely file I-751 based upon waiver, but there won't be a guarantee of its approval.
Very strange that one side-you are divorcing him, but on the other side-you are becoming his mouthpiece to gather information about the implication of your divorce on his immigration status. The key point here is-if you care about his status, then why don't you remain married until he gets his full status?
Last edited by JohnnyCash; 18th January 2006 at 12:54 AM.
I like your answer JohnnyCash, straight to the point.
Marrying the USC is a nightmare. She always think that I marry her because of the green card. I get all the threntening to divorce, to sue me after divorce to get all my money and business, to get INS to deport me out of the country. It's really a real nightmare I have ever faced in my whole life.
Our friends always tell me that she loves me too much, then she is afraid that I would leave her after I get the GC.
That's true.. marrying to a UCS is a nightmare..
Originally Posted by anne_01
This post is very suspicious. I wonder what this high paid immigrant could have done to be divorced within a year..... Are you sure money didn't exchange hands for his greencard? It seems as if you are concerned about your financial stability than his emotional being, if he is emotionally attached to you...
In anyway, being eligible to remove conditions on his greencard is a totally different adventure than an approval of such a request. So, he's not on solid ground and USCIS might aggresively seek answers as to why he got divorced within such a relatively sort of time of securing his greencard. I can assure you, he's going to face a tough scrutiny from the dogs of USCIS.
So, if it pleases you to ensure he's not on the next plane to Greenland, then withdraw your divorce till he's done. However, this will come under scrutiny as well.... However, you could blame it on the elections... You were scared that the democrats will raise married penalty tax.....
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