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How does divorce affect your green card status?

On Behalf of | Feb 3, 2022 | Divorce

Green card laws are federal issues, so whether you live in Texas or another state, the same rules apply. Divorce usually doesn’t affect a person’s green card status, but it could in a few situations.

Permanent resident card

If you have a permanent resident card, then divorce doesn’t affect your immigration status. You can file Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card, when it comes time to renew or replace your green card. When you renew or replace your card after a divorce, you may go back to using your maiden name without this affecting your immigration status. You’ll need to provide proof of your name change, such as a copy of the divorce decree.

Conditional green card

When a person receives their green card through marrying a citizen or a permanent resident, they get a two-year conditional green card. During this period, the USCIS investigates whether the marriage is in good faith. By good faith, the law means that the two people married because they love each other and not solely for the purpose of making one person a citizen.

Although a divorce within the two-year period will cause more reason to question if the marriage was real, it doesn’t automatically affect your immigration status. The investigation will continue. As long as you entered the marriage in good faith, you could maintain your immigration status.

Derivative applicants

In instances where you received a green card because your spouse did, then your immigration status will change after a divorce. You will need to apply for a green card or naturalization.

Years of residency

After five years of U.S. residency, you could apply for naturalization. As long as your marriage was in good faith, divorce won’t affect your ability to apply for naturalization.

Most legal residents of the U.S. won’t lose their green cards after a divorce. You should check the law to know what will happen in your situation and what you can do to continue residing in the United States.