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What obligations do I have after being married 2 years to an immigrant and we divorce? Will he be able to stay in the US?

Dothan, AL |

My husband is from the UK. We married in good faith. we went through all the legal channels to get his green card. We have to be married 2 years for his permanent/permanent residency. Our marrige is failing and he will not seek help with me. I actually want a divorce now, but he has asked me to please wait out the 2 years as we have bought a home together and he wants to enjoy the home here for the rest of his life. We are good friends and want to stay that way.

I got married in 2002 in good faith that my marriage would be for lifetime. I recieved permanent green card in 2005. My husband cheated in 2007, we tried to make it work but he wanted out as he was having a child with another woman behund my back. Divorced was filed and granted in feb. 2009. Can I still file citizenship in 2010? Thank you.

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Attorney answers 3


If you signed an affidavit of support (Form I-864) on his behalf as part of the immigration petition, you may be held financially responsible as stated in the affidavit. More and more state courts are willing to use the affidavit as a basis to order spousal maintenance even though under state laws a marriage of a short duration may not entitle a spouse to maintenance.

Moreover, to remain married solely to gain immigration benefits may lead to a denial of immigration benefits if the government finds out.

Unless your husband already has unconditional permanent residency, he will have apply to to remove conditions from his green card status. That petition often takes a year to complete. So, if you go along with your husband's plans, you may be unable to divorce for another 2 years.

You should review your facts with an attorney.


It may not be neccessary for you two to continue married in order for your husband to obtain his permanent residence card. He can apply for a waiver to remove the condition since your marriage is no longer good. However, you must prove again that it was valid at inception! He will have to bring all the proof for these two years that you lived together. You may want to write a letter to immigration supporting the fact that the marriage was valid and he will let the immigration know the reasons for his divorce.

Divorces happen every day to immigrants and non-immigrants.

if you stay together just for the immigration interview, it can be found to be fraud and his residency denied and in the worst case, you facing criminal charges for fraud.

You should consult an attorney to review the details of your case. You should ask your husband to go seek help with an attorney to file the appropriate applications/paperwork. I would not recommend it be done on your own.

That way you would get your divorce right away and it would not affect his immigration status. It should be the legal way to go.

Yahima Suarez, Esq.


If you are certain that you would like a divorce right now, you should not stay married simply for immigration reasons.

Does your husband have his conditional green card? If so, then your husband can file to remove the conditions on his residency after the two-year period without you. He will need to file a waiver showing documentation that your marriage was based in good faith and ended due to divorce.

Your husband should consult with an immigration lawyer about the process and documents immigration services require to show the bonafides of the marriage.

Good luck to you.

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