Divorce After Green Card Marriage: Path to U.S. Citizenship

by Saikon Gbehan Isijola, Esq

If you received your green card through marriage, you might be worried about how your divorce impacts your path to U.S. citizenship. The uncertainty of what lies ahead can be overwhelming. Providence Immigration Attorney Saikon Gbehan Isijola is here to share legal guidance. After reading this blog, you’ll be equipped to navigate your new path toward remaining in the United States permanently.

Impact of Divorce on Permanent Resident Status

It’s Important to know that divorce does not automatically put your green card status at risk. However, it may impact your timeline to obtain permanent residence status. Typically, a marriage green card holder may apply to become a United States citizen three years after retaining their green card, but they must prove that they were married to and living with their spouse during this three-year period. If a divorce occurs prior to this three-year mark, the green card holder must wait five years to apply for US citizenship.

Conditional Green Cards and Divorce

The application process becomes more complex for those with a two-year conditional green card. This type of green card is often issued when the marriage is less than two years old at the time of green card approval. Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence, generally should be filed jointly by the couple. However, in the case of divorce, you may file this form alone and demonstrate that the marriage was bona fide, or real.

Proving the Authenticity of Your Marriage

If USCIS suspects that the marriage was fraudulent, they may ask for additional evidence to prove that the marriage was bona fide. This proof is vital to demonstrate that you and your partner entered the marriage in good faith with the intent to start a life together. Evidence can include joint bank statements, joint income tax returns, photographs, shared property titles, birth certificates of any shared children, or any other documentation that shows you and your spouse built a life together. You may also submit affidavits from close relatives and friends of you and your former spouse who have personal knowledge regarding the legitimacy of your marriage.

USCIS Review During Naturalization

During the naturalization process, USCIS will review your entire immigration history, including the authenticity of your former marriage to a U.S. citizen. If there are indications of fraud, it could jeopardize your application. Be prepared with adequate documentation to demonstrate the legitimacy of your marriage as divorce can be a trigger for U.S. immigration authorities to investigate potential sham marriages. With strong evidence proving the validity of your marriage, this review should simply be a procedural step towards permanent residency.

Legal Support for Your New Path to U.S. Citizenship

While divorce can complicate your journey to U.S. citizenship, it does not close the door. With the right preparation and legal guidance, you can overcome the challenge of proving your past marriage’s legitimacy and obtain permanent resident status. Providence Immigration Attorney Saikon Gbehan Isijola is here to give you the expertise and support you need to understand your options and make informed decisions on your path to becoming a U.S. citizen. Contact us today for personalized consultation.


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