What happens to the conditional resident’s green card once the marriage ends in divorce? In this video Attorney Jacob J Sapochnick Esq., discusses one of our most frequently asked questions regarding what a conditional resident can do once their marriage ends in divorce.
If you received U.S. residence because of a recent marriage to a U.S. citizen, your first, “conditional” green card will be valid for only two years. In order to trade that one in for a permanent green card, you will need to file a Form I-751, Petition to Remove the Conditions of Residence. This must (in most cases) be signed by both you and by your U.S. citizen spouse, and mailed to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) within the 90 days before the two-year anniversary of the date your conditional green card was issued.
But if you divorce (or your marriage is annulled) before the two years have passed and you want to continue to live in the U.S., filing this petition jointly with your spouse will be impossible. You will still need to submit Form I-751, but will have to include a request for a “waiver” of the joint filing requirement. The waivers most likely to be relevant to your case are based on: divorce after a good-faith marriage abuse or battery by the U.S. spouse in a good-faith marriage, and extreme hardship to the immigrant if returned to his or her country of origin.