We were married in Feb.2010 while our divorce court procedure will be on April 2013. I re-entered with the 10 year green card in June 2012. He is threatening to even file for annulment if I answer the divorce complaint with his infidelity, alienation of affection, mental abuse & abandonment. Will the annulment nullify the petition after being married over two years? He has also petitioned my 3 daughters ages (20, 17 & 16) along the way who will be renewing their CR visa by January since their conditional green card is good till Mar 2013.
You will need to lift conditions on your and your daughters' residence using the divorce exception. Then you will have to wait until you have five years of lawful permanent residence before you can apply for citizenship.
Myron R. Morales, Attorney
You can apply for your citizenship exactly 4 years and nine month's after the validity date on your green card.
You will need to "remove" the "condition" on your daughters' residency by filing Form I-751 for each one of them and using the "good faith" exception to the joint filing requirement.
Please get an immigration lawyer to help you or contact free legal services such as Legal Aid, Catholic Charities, etc.
you will also need a divorce lawyer. Don't be afraid of your estranged husband's threats - those are just empty threats! There is nothing he can do to harm you more than he has already..
Go after him with all your might and claim what is yours!
Behar Intl. Counsel 619.234.5962 Kindly be advised that the answer above is only general in nature cannot be construed as legal advice, given that not enough facts are known. It is your responsibility to retain a lawyer to analyze the facts specific to your particular situation in order to give you specific advice. Specific answers will require cognizance of all pertinent facts about your case. Any answers offered on Avvo are of a general nature only, and are not meant to create an attorney-client relationship.
I agree with Atty Behar.
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Carl Shusterman, Esq.
Former INS Trial Attorney (1976-82)
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(213) 394-4554 x0 Mr. Shusterman is a former INS Trial Attorney (1976-82) with over 35 years of immigration experience. His response to your question is general in nature, as not all the facts are known to him. You should retain an attorney experienced in immigration law to review all the facts in your case in order to receive advice specific to your case. Mr. Shusterman's statement above does not create an attorney/client relationship.
I agree with my colleagues and please have a lawyer helping you. Also, consult with a family attorney regarding purported annulment claim. Good luck!
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Threatening annulment and getting it are two different things. Sounds like he'll have a hell of a time proving it. Equip yourself with the best family lawyer you can and don't let him threaten/push you around.
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As the other attorneys mentioned, it sounds to me like your on strong footing. You can file your waiver to obtain the 10 year green card anytime after the finalization of the divorce. I recommend if you can, to hire competent divorce/family counsel who can help you get a for cause divorce. Most states have a no fault divorce, i.e irreconcilable differences for instance, therefore not needing any reason really to obtain a divorce. Here under the facts, he cheated on you. Getting this affirmed in the final divorce decree would be good since it will help you later in your waiver application for your 10 year permanent green card since it would show that he is the one that caused the break up of the family/marriage not you. Good luck.
You can apply for citizenship after 3 years if based on marriage, and after 5 years otherwise. Also, as my colleagues have stated you may actually submit the application for citizenship 3 months prior to when you would be eligible. Sounds like you already removed the conditions on your 2 year conditional green card and obtained your 10 year permanent green card--if that's the case, there's nothing further that you need to do right now before applying for citizenship. Your daughter's will have to self-petition to remove the conditions on their green card and obtain their 10 year permanent green cards--whether you have actually divorced or not yet will be important in their cases.
As for your marriage, it is hard to annul a marriage--there must be specific grounds on which it could be annuled as defined by Illinois statute. Your divorce may raise a red flag to immigration, but immigration is not concerned with the particulars of the divorce--they are just concerned with whether it was in fact a good faith marriage at the time of marriage. So, I wouldn't let your husband's threats worry you.
I strongly encourage you to hire both an experienced family law and immigration law attorney to help you with each situation. Good luck!
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I agree with my colleagues. You will need an immigration and family attorney but as long as your marriage is real, you should have no problems in the 5 yr citizenship, or removing your daughter's removal of conditions.
Dhenu Savla, Esq.
This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship and is not meant to be relied upon as legal advice.