YUMA, Arizona. Marriage was once a sure path to a green card and ultimately to citizenship for many immigrants. Yet, as immigration laws have changed under the current presidential administration, many immigrant families have started to wonder about the security of their status. Reports indicate that families are being torn apart as spouses of U.S. citizens apply for green cards. One group of people particularly vulnerable are those whose status is conditional. U.S. citizens who marry an immigrant can help their family member acquire a green card through marriage. Yet, what happens to an ex’s green card during divorce?

According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services , individuals who have been married less than two years are eligible for a conditional green card. The conditional status is put in place to ensure that the marriage wasn’t obtained to get a green card. Individuals can remove these conditions if they remain married the U.S. citizen for 2 years. Conditional status can be removed if a person is a widow or widower, or if the marriage was entered in good faith but the marriage ended in divorce. Individuals who have suffered abuse at the hands of a U.S. citizen spouse are also entitled to remove conditions on their permanent residency, even if the marriage doesn’t last the 2-year mark. It is important that you prove to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services that your marriage was valid and entered into in good faith. Additionally, individuals might need to show immigration officers that removal from the U.S. would cause undue hardship. If you are planning on getting divorced from a U.S. Citizen spouse, it may be wise in this case to speak to a qualified divorce lawyer, like Schneider & Onofry, P.C. in Yuma, Arizona and also possibly to an immigration lawyer as well.

If the conditions of your green card have been removed, you may still want to speak to a lawyer to ensure that divorce proceedings won’t trigger removal proceedings with ICE. The New York Times has recently reported on cases where immigrants attempting to get green cards after marrying U.S. citizens have faced deportations due to other issues with their status. For example, if you had an old deportation order, you could face removal. If your case will be re-opened due to divorce, old deportation orders could possibly come back to haunt these green card holders.

Sometimes vindictive U.S. Citizen spouses may use their status and their partner’s status to gain leverage over their ex in a divorce. If you find yourself facing this challenge, you may want to speak to a qualified divorce lawyer in Yuma, Arizona, like Schneider & Onofry, P.C. Our firm handles a range of divorce cases and divorce situations. Divorce can change many aspects of your life, from your health insurance, your mortgage, your child custody arrangement, and even your immigration status. Before you move forward with a divorce, it is wise to speak to a lawyer to understand the consequences and your options.

Schneider & Onofry, P.C.

365 E. Coronado Rd.

Phoenix, AZ 85004