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Expert James, Immigration Attorney
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Divorce while waiting for 1-751 result will affect the card?

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Divorce while waiting for 1-751 result will affect the green card?
Already sent form I-751 to remove the conditions on my residence almost a year ago, and we sent more info when was required. But still have received any update so far. Recently, me and spouse planning to divorce due to emotional discord. Since there is still no update on my 1-751 case, and we have been married for 3 years now. If immigration approved my condition removal, and release the 10 years green card to me, and my spouse threat to lie to immigration that I married to she/he for the green card (Which I'm not, I have approvals), what I should do on my end? If immigration wants to call us for an interview, or reject my 1-751, what I should do on my end? We just started the divorce application...Also, with spouse doesn't have a stable job, do I need to pay alimony to him?Thanks

Hello! Thank you for using Just Answer. I am James, and I will be assisting you. Please give me a few minutes to review your question and prepare a response.

First, I cannot answer questions about alimony. This is the immigration law section and that is a family law question. It needs to be posed to to a family lawyer.

As far as the I-751 process, did you receive the notice that extended your conditional card for a year while the I-751 is being processed? If so, when does that term expire?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Thanks for your reply.
Yes, I have received the extension that will expire in June. Also since we have live apart for 8 month before due to his school in past 3 years. We have been living together before we started the 1-751. That being said, since we have a short time that didn't live together, 3 mothons ago immigration asked us to provide more info. He wrote a letter and his family wrote letter to approve as well. We also sent in our text messages for past 3 years (A lot of them). We sent those info out about 1 month a ago. For now, my case have no update. And this month, we already married for 3 years. We have not submit the divorce application yet, but we are talking about it, also I'm planning to move out.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I can send over the letter he wrote, if it will help?
Please let me know what info I can provide up front before we contact on the phone.

No reason for that. I'm preparing your answers. Thank you for your patience.

OK, thank you for your patience as I clarified the information. Please note, this is for informational purposes only. My response does not create an attorney-client relationship. My answers are below.

Once you get your answers, please give me a positive rating of 4 or 5 stars. This is the only way I get credit for doing my job, which I am certain you would want as well. So your rating is very important for my success. Thank you.

As to your question, a divorce that takes place during the I-751 process means you are not eligible for the joint I-751. If you intend to get divorced, you need to inform the USCIS and let them know that you are in the middle of a divorce and you no longer doing a joint application. They should tell you that your case is going to be held up inutil the divorce is finalized and then you will file for a waiver of the joint filing requirement, showing that you got married in good faith, but that now, your marriage ended in divorce.

If that waiver request is accepted, the case will be considered without the joint filing requirement and if approved, you will get the 10-year green card.

I know you probably want to know if you can just continue this and then get a divorce right after. My advice to that question would be not to do that. IF you get a divorce right after you are approved for the 10-year card, it will look like you filed a joint case when you never intended to remain married. That can be the basis for denial of your naturaization in the future and revocation of your green card.

So step 1 it to write a letter to the USCIS office where the I-751 is being processed. Inform them that recently, things have not been going well in the marriage, and that you have decided to file for divorce and will seek a waiver of the joint filing requirement. Ask for the case to be held in abeyance until such time that the divorce is finalized. Once it is finalized, send in a certified copy of the divorce decree and request that the I-751 be considered with the waiver of the joint filing requirement.

You should be proactive about this, instead of reactive. Otherwise, they might think you were trying to hide it to gain immigration benefits.

I hope I have answered your questions. IF you want to talk on the phone for a fee, let me know and I will send you an offer.

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Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Thanks for you answer.
May I ask, if I don't want to inform them and get the 10 years green card. when will be safe to submit the divorce application then?

Unfortunately, there is no specific amount of time. Each case is decided on a case by case basis and will take everything into account.

All I can say is that divorces that happen soon after the issuance of a 10-year card are suspect. And the longer you wait, the less likely it is that questions are raised.

Please do not forget to give me 3 or more stars, or any smiling faces, before leaving the site today. Thank you!

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
If I got the green card and he is not going to say anything to immigration, and we divorce in next few month, what will happen? Immigration will check the case even no one report it?


I do not work for the immigration authorities. I am a lawyer. So I cannot predict exactly what will happen. I can only tell you what could happen and why it could happen.

As I said previously, the longer one waits, the better. If you do it a few months after you get the 10-year card, then it is more likely suspicions will be raised and you will be asked about it. Think of it like this: If you do it 0-3 months after, it is very likely. If you do it 3-6 months later, then it is likely, if you do it 6 to 0 months, it is less likely. If you do it 9 to 12 months, even less likely, And if you do it 1 year or more, low likelihood. But there is no guarantee that they will or will not ask you about it. That is the best I can offer on that.

Please give me a positive rating fo 4 or 5 stars now. You can still ask follow-up questions, even if you've given me a positive rating. If you do not give a rating, then I do not get credit. I am sure you would want to get credit. I am no different.

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Thank you!

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