Are you afraid of getting divorced that you’ll be deported? For a person who gained legal status in the U.S. through their marriage to a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident (“LPR” for short), what would happen to their immigration status if they get divorced?
U.S. immigration laws allow a U.S. citizen or LPR to petition for (“sponsor”) their foreign national spouse so that the spouse can obtain legal status, in order for them to live happily together as a family in the United States. U.S. citizens may also petition for their foreign national fiance(e) to come to the U.S. for the purpose of getting married in the U.S. so that they can just stay together here after marriage. But, what if they get divorced before, during, or after that process?
The answer to the question depends on whether the marriage was in good faith, the timing of the divorce, and at what stage of the process they were, at the time of the divorce. Unfortunately, due to various reasons, it is not unusual that the paperwork for immigration status would take months, or even years, in some cases. The relationship may fall apart during that time, or even after the process is complete.
In short, do not give up even if the marriage falls apart. As long as the marriage was in good faith, there is a possibility that the foreign national spouse would be able to retain their status and remain in the U.S. If divorce is a consideration, it is a good idea to seek the advice of an experienced immigration attorney before you act, so that you will understand the immigration impacts of a divorce before you take any action.