Certain types of immigration are subject to more scrutiny than others. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) very rarely questions whether an employer has an ulterior motive for seeking to bring a worker to the United States. However, those who apply for marriage-based immigration opportunities can expect a lot of attention concerning the details of their case. The USCIS reviews every request for a marriage-based visa or a fiancé visa very carefully. Applicants have to show that their relationship is legitimate, provide medical records and undergo a background check.
Even those who do get a visa and who enter the country are still subject to certain conditions on their rights. The conditional green card issued when someone enters the country with a spouse or fiancé visa does not last for a full 10 years like standard green cards do.
Spouses must wait at least two years
An immigrant with a green card secured because they married a United States citizen will not have the full protections that other permanent residents enjoy. Instead, they will be subject to restrictions until they upgrade their status. They will have to ask to remove the conditional status on their green card, which typically involves meeting with the USCIS to validate their relationship.
Someone who entered the country to get married or because they married a citizen elsewhere typically have to wait at least two years to qualify to remove the conditional status from their green card. A divorce or legal separation that occurs before then could potentially put their right to stay in the United States at risk, even if they have a sound reason for divorce and entered the relationship in good faith.
There are other options for worried spouses
Those who feel like they may soon face divorce or wish to file for divorce should not have to remain in a dangerous situation only because of immigration concerns. There are multiple programs that can help those worried about their right to live and work in the United States.
Reviewing the rules for marriage-based green cards may help those who are hoping to remain in the country more effectively protect their interests. Seeking legal guidance is often a good idea, as a result.