Q: Married to a US citizen for 21 years. I have a GC. Can I divorce and stay as a perm. res. w/o becoming a citizen?
I am married to an abusive man and have been for 21 years. He got me my green card. I have 2 adult children who are citizens. I work and have never broken the law. I want to stay in the US but divorce this man. I do not want to become a citizen. Is it possible for me to divorce him and maintain permanent resident status? I am worried that my marriage is the only thing keeping me on solid legal ground, and I do not want to risk deportation in this political climate. He has told me that the only way I get to keep living in America is to stay married to him. I do not want to press charges or get him in trouble. I only want to separate from him but still be near my children. Thank you.
A: Your permanent resident status that has been issued to you will not end if you are granted a divorce from your U.S. citizen. You have been married for 21 years and you can provide proof of your bona fide marital relationship if your marriage is ever questioned by USCIS.
You also are not required to apply for U.S. citizenship if you wish to remain a permanent resident while you reside in the U.S.
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