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Divorce Before Two Year Conditional Residence Ends

My marriage is over, what do I do to stay in the U.S.? How do I remove the conditions on my Permanent Resident card? Can I get a 10 year Permanent Resident card after a divorce? These are really good questions. Generally, speaking “yes” you can. Many people get married with the intention of living happily ever after for many years. However, often times there are unforeseen circumstances that arise during the marriage lead to a not so happily ever after and you wind up in a divorce.  What are the options?

Generally, you and your spouse jointly file a petition to remove the conditions from a two- year permanent resident card. If you do not file a joint petition your permanent resident card could be terminated by USCIS. When there is a divorce before the two year period ends you may be able to file for a “waiver” sometimes called a “good faith marriage waiver”. In order to be eligible for the waiver, a divorce must happen before a waiver of application may be submitted. You must prove that your marriage was entered into in good faith and was bona fide, meaning that it was not entered into for immigration purposes.

How do I show a “good faith marriage”? You must show USCIS that you and your spouse had a shared life together- you were involved in each others’ lives. Some examples of evidence of good faith marriage are:

  1. Children of the marriage- you and your spouse have children together
  2. Shared Income and Home
  3. You and your spouse acquired joint property ( car, house, art etc. )
  4. Joint Bank Accounts
  5. Joint Tax returns
  6. Shared Vacations
  7. Photographs and Gifts for Special Occasions
  8. Affidavits from friends and family

The above are just examples and not a complete list. Please talk to an experienced immigration attorney for more information on how to file for a good faith marriage waiver.