In the U.S., it is often possible for citizens to sponsor their foreign spouses for legal permanent residency. In fact, because U.S. immigration law prioritizes family unification, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services approves thousands of marriage-based green card applications every single year.
If you received your green card because of your marriage to your U.S. citizen spouse, you may wonder if divorce is even possible. You may also wonder whether your divorce may jeopardize your legal permanent residency.
10-year green cards
The effect your divorce has on your immigration status may depend on how long you have been a legal permanent resident. If you have a 10-year green card, immigration officials are unlikely to care about the end of your marriage.
After your divorce concludes, you can file a request with the USCIS to update the name on your green card. To do so, you may need to provide evidence of your name change. This evidence may include your divorce decree, a judicial name change order or something else.
2-year green cards
If you have a two-year green card, your divorce may affect your immigration status indirectly. That is, when you apply for your 10-year card, you must prove your marriage was bona fide at its inception. Providing evidence that shows you did not marry your spouse to secure an immigration benefit is likely to be helpful.
Regardless of your legal permanent residency, ending your marriage may be necessary for a variety of reasons. Ultimately, though, you likely can take immediate steps to protect your immigration status both during and after your divorce.