Can a Marriage Green Card Be Revoked?
December 27th, 2022
There are several provisions of the Immigration Law that allow a green card to be revoked and those include Marriage-Based green cards, but there is not a “revocation” that is specific for marriage cases.
Many Marriage-Based Residencies, however, are susceptible to an additional review of their status after 2 years and this can result in the denial of an extension of the Green Card if there is not sufficient evidence that they qualify for the 10-year Green card.
Who Has to File for an Extension of a Marriage-Based Green Card after 2 Years?
If a marriage was entered into less than 2 years before the person received their green card through that marriage, then that residency is generally “conditional,” which means the Green Card will be issued for 2 years instead of 10 years and the holder will have to apply to remove that “conditional” status prior to the expiration of the green card, with a I-751 Petition.
If you are married and have been issued a 2-year green card and you need to file for the 10 year green card, our marriage green card attorneys at FitzGerald Law Company can assist you with your I-751 Petition. For a case consultation, contact us at (617) 303-2600.
When Can an Extension of a Marriage-Based Green Card Be Denied?
Whether an extension of a Marriage-Based Green Card can be denied depends on the facts of each case. The most common reason for a Marriage-Based Green Card extension to be denied is for a lack of evidence that the relationship of real and not entered into just to get a green card. This means that you can get an extension of your green card, even if you are divorced, as long as you have enough evidence that your marriage was “bone fide” (entered into in good faith).
According to 8 U.S.C. § 1186(b), a Marriage-Based Green Card extension can be approved even if the marriage is annulled, which is a termination of the relationship that is far more serious technically than even a divorce.
Our marriage green card attorneys can help if your marital status has been terminated and you need to extend your 2-year green card.
If I am Divorced how will I get my 2-year Marriage-Based Green Card Extended?
Whether or not your “conditional” Marriage-Based Green Card will be extended upon divorce will depend on the evidence you have to prove the validity of your relationship at the time that you received your green card.
USCIS will review the documents that you file with your I-751 Petition. Evidence that a marriage was a valid one general includes joint tax returns, joint bank accounts with “direct-deposit” from the employers of both spouses, joint lease or deed, joint health insurance, other records from government agencies or companies, and the records from the divorce proceeding.
Permanent Green Card Holders, Divorce and Revocation/Rescission of Residency
The Immigration Law allows the immigration agencies in the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice to “revoke or rescind” a green card, within 5 years of the date it was issued, if it the person was ineligible for the Green Card at the time it was issued.
Conditional Green Card Extension After the End of the Marriage
There are several ways that a Marriage-Based green card can be extended after a marriage ceases to exist. An I-751 can be filed if the person had a divorce or annulment, if their spouse died and they are widowed, if there has been domestic abuse or if they will suffer a substantial hardship if their residency is not extended.
Documentary evidence is one of the most important elements of an I-751 Petition. These petitions are initially reviewed by an officer at one of the USCIS Service Centers and if a petition has strong supporting documents, it can be approved without an interview.
What happens at an I-751 Removal of Residency Conditions Interview after a Divorce or Separation?
If an I-751 removal of conditions petition has sufficient evidence, even if the couple has divorced or separated, then the petition can be approved without an interview. USCIS will generally schedule an interview if there was not enough evidence or worse if they have uncovered evidence of fraud.
Of course, many marriages ending before the second anniversary are not products of fraud. People get divorced or separated for a variety of reasons, completely un-related to their immigration case. However, serious issues usually arise when the evidence does not demonstrate the validity of the relationship.
For example, if the couple moves to a new address and the US Citizen spouse does not update the address on their driver’s license, insurance registrations or employment records. Those are records that USCIS may access and it will appear that the couple is not residing together. This can create a problem in any removal of residency conditions case, I-751, but if the person is filing an I-751 alone because of separation or divorce it can be far worse.
An interview will allow a USCIS Officer to question the person applying for the extension of their green card about the short-comings in the I-751 petition. The officer will be able to review the entire history of the relationship, records from the initial green card case, as well as the records and evidence the government has for the I-751 petition. It is important to be well prepared and have the necessary evidence and explanations for the case to go well.
How Do I Remove the “Conditional Status” of my Marriage-Based Green Card before its 2 Years Have Expired?
There are certain situations where you can file an I-751 as a Self-Petition to remove the conditions of your residency status before the two year period of the conditional “green card” has run out, and they include cases in which a couple has had their marriage terminate through a legal separation, annulment or divorce; if their spouse died and they are a widow/widower; if they have been subject to domestic abuse; or if they will suffer an extreme hardship without a 10-year green card, due to an issue that exists during their “conditional” period.
The most common reason a spouse applies with a “Self-Petition” to have their conditions removed is likely to due to divorce. You do not have to wait for the 3 month period before your 2-year residency expires to file for its extension if you are divorced. You can file as soon as your divorce judgement is final.
Similarly a person who has 2-year conditional residency based upon their marriage, can remove that conditional status before its 2nd anniversary if their spouse dies, or if the relationship involves serious physical or emotional abuse, or if the person will suffer an extreme hardship due to a condition that exists during that 2-year period.
Our marriage green card lawyers can help you if you want to explore what options might be available to remove the conditions on your green card.
Our Marriage Green Card Attorneys Can Help
If you are a Marriage-Based Green Card Holder and you need assistance with its extension, our marriage green card attorneys can provide you with an evaluation or a case consultation. Call FitzGerald Law Company today at (617) 303-2600.