The Green Card & Divorce: What You Should Know About the I-751 Waiver

If you’re a resident of the U.S. because you married a citizen, you’ll be granted a green card and will be given the conditional permanent resident status. You could then file a petition with your U.S. citizen spouse to get a full U.S. permanent resident status. If you divorce or separate from your spouse prior to filing a petition, however, you still have a chance to become a permanent U.S. resident through the waiver “Permissions to Remove Conditions on Residence” or Form I-751.

But can anyone just apply for this waiver? Unfortunately, no. You’d have to meet certain conditions in order to qualify for the waiver. These include:

Good Faith or Real Marriage and Divorce

You could apply for the waiver if your divorce has been finalized by the deadline date of your waiver petition or if your U.S. citizen spouse passes away. It’s due two years following the issuance of your conditional residency status.

In the event that your divorce is almost done, the USCIS might give you more time to file evidence of your divorce decree, but you’d still have to file your petition on time. You should also be prepared to show evidence that your marriage was real and not just for marriage green card purposes, adds an immigration attorney in Utah.

Abuse or Violence by the U.S. Citizen Spouse

You could apply for the waiver if your marriage to your U.S. citizen spouse involved physical and/or psychological abuse or violence. You also need to back up your claim with undisputable evidence.

Extreme Hardship

You need to show that you would undoubtedly experience extreme hardship if you go home to your homeland. It’s immensely vital that you provide strong proof to support your claim. You could get help from an immigration lawyer who will work everyone involved, including your family back home, write letters stating the specific circumstances of your hardship case, and help you collect relevant evidence to increase your chances of getting a waiver.

Divorce is never easy for anyone, but is more complicated for people like you who rely on your U.S. citizen spouse to get a green card. Speak with an experienced immigration lawyer to find out more about the options available to you and help determine which one would suit your case best.