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Can I lose my green card if I get a divorce after 7 months of marriage?

Jacksonville, FL |

I moved to Jacksonville from the UK. I left my career as a Financial Advisor, my family and all my friends to be with my husband. We would get on great and he was very calm and understanding before we were married if ever I needed to talk to him. In the time that we've been married (7 months), he is emotionally abusive (eg. screams at me, smashes things, points his finger at me and clenches his teeth) if we get into a little dispute. I feel so lost and I don't want to have to move back to the UK and start over. Here, I have a great opportunity in Finance but I can't live with his abuse. Could I still get the conditional residency removed and still reside in the US if we had a divorce now?

Attorney Answers 7

  1. Yes, you can. But, burden is on you to show the marriage was bona fide and your intention was genuine at the time of marriage.

  2. Prior to the expiration of your conditional residency card or after your divorce, you may file a petition to remove the conditions on your card. You will still have the burden of proving the bona fides of your marital relationship. This entails submitting affidavits of friends, neighbors, or fellow workers can attest to the bona fides of your marriage. You will also have to submit substantial joint husband-and-wife documentation. I highly recommend that you seek an immigration lawyer to assist you and also work with your divorce lawyer.

  3. Sorry to hear about your situation. As long as your marriage was entered into in good faith and as long as your divorce is finalized prior to your I-751 being decided, you very likely can have the conditional status removed and obtain full fledged residency. Depending on the level of abuse, you could also possibly have the makings of a VAWA (Violence Against Women Act) case. You may need to consult both an immigration and family law attorney to assist you.

  4. I agree with Ms. Fattahi's answer ... the burden will be on you to prove that it was a 'real' marriage.

    PROFESSOR OF IMMIGRATION LAW for over 10 years -- This blog posting is offered for informational purposes only. It does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Also, keep in mind that this is an INTERNET BLOG. You should not rely on anything you read here to make decisions which impact on your life. Meet with an attorney, via Skype, or in person, to obtain competent personal and professional guidance.

  5. Yes you may. You can apply for a waiver of the requirement to file a joint petition to remove conditions on residence, either on good faith grounds or as a battered spouse. Consult with an attorney about both.

    Samuel Ouya Maina, Esq. 415.391.6612 Law Offices of S. Ouya Maina, PC 332 Pine Street, Suite 707 San Francisco, CA 94104

  6. I agree with my colleagues.


    Ardian Gjoka, Esq.
    8613 Old Kings Rd. S. Suite 601D
    Jacksonville, FL 32217
    Phone: 904.351.8749
    Fax: 904.800.1102

  7. You have a lot going for you as far as options to keeping your green card etc. In my opinion, you should consult an immigration attorney ASAP to create a comprehensive immigration plan based either on a waiver through divorce or a VAWA claim. I'm not a mental health professional, but it seems you are clearly experiencing anguish by the actions of your husband.

    I would strongly recommend seeking counseling--victims in our era need not suffer alone. Abuse comes in several sinister forms, and the 'cycle of abuse' model of domestic violence is at issue with your case and relationship. if you feel 'so lost' and 'can't live with his abuse'..... you no longer have to. I feel confident that a waiver is viable here, but if that doesn't go as planned, you also have a textbook abuse pattern that is a strong VAWA case if properly documented by your legal counsel. The safest thing to do before any further escalation of abuse is to seek professional help in leaving the abusive relationship while at the same time carrying out your immigration game plan. All the best!

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