How to get out of an abusive marriage AND keep your green card
You do not have to stay in an abusive marriage to protect your green card. US law wants you to leave your US citizen spouse’s abuse, and the US will allow you to keep your green card if you are abused by your US citizen spouse (or LPR spouse).
If you are abused by your US citizen spouse, you can apply to renew your green card at any time. This is different from a joint renewal that must be submitted in the 90 days prior to the expiration of the two-year card. Abuse waivers can be filed before the 90-day period, or after the period. You must be legally married to your spouse at the time you file the abuse waiver.
To file the waiver, submit the following to USCIS:
- Form I-751 (fully answered and signed)
- Filing fee of $680
- A statement from you about the circumstances of the abuse
- Evidence that you and your spouse were in a real relationship and marriage
- Evidence that your spouse abused you. The abuse can be physical, sexual, financial, or emotional.
If USCIS approves your application, you will be issued a new green card that is valid for 10 years. If you win your renewal based on abuse, you are eligible to file for US citizenship three years after the date you first became a conditional lawful permanent resident.
If your waiver application is denied, you may be placed in removal proceedings and may need to appear before an immigration judge to defend your case.
To win a waiver case, you must only prove it was a “real marriage” and that you experienced abuse. Waiver applications are difficult to prepare and win, and USCIS is always looking for fraud in I-751 waiver applications.
Our team is happy to share information about immigration law. However, please remember that every situation is unique, and we believe that all USCIS applicants should be represented by an experienced, compassionate, and approachable attorney. The stakes are very high for the renewal of your green card. Don’t risk your future in the US by trying to figure this out on your own. Work with an experienced immigration attorney on this project that will determine whether you can continue your life, career, and family in the United States.
If you need to talk to an experienced immigration attorney. We’ve helped hundreds of people traverse the complicated immigration and citizenship process. We would love to help you as well. Call (617-272-7980) or email email@example.com to get in touch.