What would happen to my permanent resident status after a separation?

By EVELYN SMALLWOOD / ATTORNEY

En caso de que me divorcie, ¿podría tener problemas con inmigración? ¿Podría perder mi tarjeta de residente?

Even if you decide to marry again, and you end up filling a request from your new partner, we advise to consult a lawyer. Sometimes there has to be a waiting period between a divorce and the new request.

Rolando asks:
I am married to an American citizen. I got my green card about a year ago. My green card will expire in ten years. I am currently going through a tough time in my marriage and I have decided to leave my wife. If I get a divorce, could I have problems with immigration? Could I lose my green card? Could I loose my permanent resident status?

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When you get a ‘permanent resident status’ through a citizen of the United States, the law requires that your marriage was in good faith. However, you are not required to stay married for life. Sometimes, a situation where the marriage is not working out might arise. If this is the case, your status as a permanent resident generally will not be in danger.

If you were married for less than two years, and during this time you adjust your status to become a permanent resident, you will receive what is called a ‘conditional permanent residence’. This means that after two years of being a permanent conditional resident, you must complete a new application, with your partner, to change your status from conditional permanent resident to legal permanent resident. If you are not together, there might be some complications. Some exemptions are available under these circumstances, so it will be necessary to consult a lawyer.

In your case, your green card is valid for ten years and you are already a lawful permanent resident. You should not worry about filling another application with your wife. Your divorce should not affect your status in any way.

Even if you decide to marry again, and you end up filling a request from your new partner, we advise to consult a lawyer. Sometimes there has to be a waiting period between a divorce and the new request.

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