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If you get divorced, will you lose your green card?

On Behalf of | May 20, 2022 | Immigration |

A green card allows you to be a permanent resident of the United States. Many people who initially come here in other ways, such as on a tourist visa or a student visa, will then try to shift over to having a green card so they can stay for a longer period of time – perhaps the rest of their life, if they continue to renew the card every 10 years.

One way to get a green card is simply to show that you are married to a U.S. citizen. If you’re married, the government is interested in keeping your relationship stable, so they will generally issue a green card so the two of you can live together in the country.

But you know well that not all marriages last. What if you get married, the government gives you a green card, and then your spouse asks for a divorce? By doing this, are they essentially going to disqualify you from the green card program so that you have to leave the country?

Can probably keep your status

You’ll be glad to know that you can generally keep your status in the United States and you get to retain your green card. Getting divorced doesn’t mean that you’re necessarily going to lose it, even though getting married is the way that you obtained it.

One reason that this may not be true is if the government decides that your marriage was fraudulent the entire time. For instance, they may be more suspicious if you were only married for a few months before you got divorced. That doesn’t necessarily mean that you committed fraud, of course, but it’s going to raise more red flags than if you were married for 10 years and got divorced.

But complications like this are rare. Generally speaking, once you have your green card, you’re not going to lose it and you’re still going to be able to renew it. You don’t have to stay married, and you could even get divorced and then marry someone else. You don’t usually have to worry about being deported just because you’re going through this change in your relationship.

Understanding your options

Needless to say, this may be a more complicated situation for you than it would for someone else, so be sure you know about all of your legal options.

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