The answer depends on your spouse’s status, the immigration benefit you received, how and when you received the benefit, and if you are divorced or separated.
For example, if you received conditional resident status through marriage, that status is limited to two years. In order to become a permanent resident, you must file a “Petition to Remove Conditions of Residence” or “Form-I-751” during the final 90 days of status before your green card expires. Typically, both spouses file this form together.
A divorce or annulment will complicate your ability to convert a green card to an unconditional green card, but not make it impossible. In this example, a conditional resident can file a waiver to the requirement to file with their spouse based on the following criteria:
- Divorce after a “good-faith” marriage;
- Abuse or battery in a “good-faith” marriage;
- Extreme hardship to the immigrant if returned to their country of origin.
A divorce or separation may have other consequences depending on your unique situation and status. It is important to consult with an experienced immigration attorney to help determine how a divorce will affect your lawful status and path to citizenship.