An I-751 petition for the removal of conditions on U.S. residence takes several years to adjudicate. During that time, couples who file the petition jointly may see changes in their marriage and ultimately, divorce.
When this happens, it’s important that they know what to do with regard to their pending I-751 immigration case.
What to Do When You Divorce While an I-751 Case is Pending
When a couple divorces during the pendency of their I-751 case, they have to notify the immigration service and ask for a waiver of the joint filing requirement.
Notify the Immigration Service
The first thing to do is keep the immigration service in the loop about the divorce. When it comes to when immigration should be informed, however, will depend on a case-to-case basis.
For some applicants, it may be smarter to immediately inform immigration of plans to divorce even if no papers have yet been filed. But for others, it would be ideal to wait for a divorce decree before notifying immigration.
Ultimately, when to inform immigration of the divorce is something that needs to be discussed with a lawyer so that they can come up with an individual decision that is most favorable for the applicant.
Ask for a Waiver
In case the divorce decree is final but the I-751 case is still pending, the applicant needs to inform immigration that the underlying basis for their case has changed. Then, they will be able to ask for a waiver of the joint filing requirement to submit together with the divorce decree.
Important Thing to Know When Notifying Immigration of a Divorce
A divorce during the pendency of an I-751 case is nothing new. These things happen, and our firm sees them all the time. However, before taking action and informing immigration about the divorce, it’s important that applicants are warned that they should expect a higher level of scrutiny from immigration.
They will look at the case more closely and even go as far as requesting an interview. But this shouldn’t be a cause for concern, as long as the applicant has all their documents ready to show the reason for the divorce and the underlying basis for the I-751 case.
This process can be tricky to navigate, so it’s advisable to speak to an immigration attorney with a lot of success in cases like these.