Hartford, CT asked in Divorce and Immigration Law for New York

Q: Obtained my permanent Residency through Marriage in 2013, and recently filed for naturalization, but getting a divorce

I want to know how will filing for divorce affect my pending case and can i still apply again for citizenship after being in the country for 5 years which will be next Aug. Will my status as permanent resident be affected no matter what.

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2 Lawyer Answers

Amanda B Cook

Answered
  • Immigration Law Lawyer
  • Montgomery, AL

A: You may still be eligible to lift your conditions and then later for citizenship as long as you entered your marriage in good faith and can prove that you did so. But you should speak to an experienced immigration attorney, you may need to file additional paperwork to amend your application and provide additional documentation.

Ms. Norka M. Schell

Answered
  • Immigration Law Lawyer
  • New York, NY

A: Many applicants for U.S. citizenship (naturalization) worry that if they got their green card through marriage, but later divorced, they will no longer qualify for citizenship. In most cases, such applicants have little or nothing to worry about.

The people who truly need to worry about the effect of a divorce are those trying to get early citizenship after three years as spouses of U.S. citizens. You have to remain married up until you actually get your citizenship, and you have to be living with your spouse three years before filing your citizenship application to qualify for early citizenship. Because you have been a permanent resident for five years, you’re not subject to the early citizenship rules.

As long as your marriage was the real thing—meaning that you honestly intended to establish a life together, as opposed to entering into a fake, or a sham marriage, meant to get you a green card—you should be okay.

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