Divorce can be an emotionally and financially exhaustive event in a person's life. But when you are married to a US citizen, a divorce can even affect your status as an immigrant. As a permanent resident who applied for a Green Card through a spousal petition, your immigration status will be affected if you divorce from your spouse.
Therefore, before you apply to the US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) to remove conditions on your permanent residence, it is important to understand how a divorce or annulment might affect your status as an immigrant.
How to Renew Your Green Card After Divorce
Most Green Cards are issued for 10 years and are generally unaffected by a change in your marital status. Therefore, the renewal of your 10-year Green Card will not bring any problems.
You can simply file Form I-90, Application for Replacement of Permanent Resident Card. You may be required to change your name or address on your Green Card at the same time of renewal. You can provide the legal document of the divorce decree to change your name and submit your renewal application.
How to Renew Your Conditional Green Card After Divorce
If you have obtained your Green Card through marriage to a US citizen, then divorce or annulment will affect your immigration status. A conditional Green Card is issued for 2 years. This 2 year period helps the USCIS determine whether your marriage was in good faith or just to get immigration benefits. At the end of this period, you and your spouse must jointly file Form I-751, Petition to Remove the Conditions on Residence, along with evidence of your marriage’s validity.
Divorce will cast an issue on the genuineness of your marriage. You can apply for a waiver from the joint application that will allow you to submit Form I-751 after divorce. If you fail to submit Form I-751, then it will likely result in removal proceedings.