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How a divorce from an American can affect your immigration status

'29.05.2021'

Source: New york law journal

Every year, thousands of foreign nationals come to the United States to marry their lovers. Some of them get divorced. How can this affect the immigration status of a foreign spouse?

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To allow newlyweds to live together and not be afraid of problems associated with migration issues, brides and grooms of American citizens are issued with temporary visas, which are valid from several months to several years. After a certain time, the spouse can become a permanent resident of the United States, that is, receive a green card, and then citizenship.

But there is one clarification - in order to receive a green card, an American spouse must sponsor and vouch for his other half. Divorce can seriously complicate obtaining immigration status. Especially difficult situations arise if children have appeared in the marriage and one of the spouses is facing deportation. Risks are analyzed in more detail by an expert New york law journal.

Family Temporary Visas

These visas are different from tourist or work visas. They give the so-called dependent status. This means that in the event of a divorce, the spouse loses migration status and must immediately leave the country. Or change the migration status to another type of visa.

At the same time, rather difficult questions arise that relate to child custody. That is why lawyers recommend signing additional agreements when marrying, which delimit the responsibilities of the parties.

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Applying for a green card

The process of obtaining a green card takes a lot of time: from several months to several years. Lawyers recommend: before starting the divorce procedure, make sure that there are documents confirming the legal status in the country. Otherwise, there is a risk of losing the right to receive a green card.

Sponsoring foreigners

American citizens, of course, have the right to finance their spouses and help in obtaining a green card. However, the main thing that the spouses will have to prove is that the beloved (beloved), who came from another country, were really married out of mutual sympathy, and not for the sake of a green card. This is why lawyers believe that couples should maintain relationships throughout the entire document preparation process.

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Divorce in this case can cross everything out. If the court's decision on divorce has entered into force, then the migration service will have no reason to issue a green card. And even the separation of spouses can complicate the process - in this case, they will not be able to prove that they live together and maintain a full-fledged family relationship.

Another important point: if the marriage was concluded less than two years ago, then the migration service will issue a temporary green card for a period of 2 years. If during this time the marriage is dissolved, the green card is also canceled.

In addition, even after receiving a green card, the spouse remains the financial guarantor until citizenship is obtained. Lawyers recommend that you carefully study the legislation and make decisions with caution - both on marriage and on divorce.

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