If I get divorced, do I have to leave the US?

| Jul 1, 2021 | Immigration |

One question that some individuals wonder about after divorcing in Texas is how it will impact their immigration status. We cannot definitively tell you that things will not change. If your presence in this country is dependent on your relationship with someone else, your immigration status may very well be affected.

Conditional residents may change status

Conditional residents are people who immigrated based on their spouses’ status within the past two years. These are the individuals whose status would most be at risk. At the end of those two years, you would file for lawful permanent resident status when the marriage is still intact. You could try to file for it after a divorce, but it will be more difficult. You could request a waiver that demonstrates that the marriage was in good faith, and you fully planned on living together as spouses when you got married.

Lawful permanent residents are unaffected

However, if you were already a green card holder at the time of your divorce, your status would be unaffected. Nonetheless, getting divorced would delay the naturalization process to five years from the three that it otherwise would have taken. Before you make any decisions about your marital status, it is vital to speak with an experienced immigration attorney to learn how it may impact your presence in the country. You do not want to make a mistake or wrong assumption that puts your ability to remain in the United States at risk.

Attorneys field questions about marital status and immigration all the time. Take the time to consult with both a divorce and immigration lawyer. He or she could advise you on whether your status will be impacted and how you may potentially be able to protect yourself. However, do not assume that your divorce attorney completely understands immigration law.