Exploring Waiver Options for Conditional Residency: Navigating Divorce and Broken Marriages

by: Attorney Noyes

8/9/20232 min read

person holding gold wedding band
person holding gold wedding band

At Noyes & Associates, we understand that life is unpredictable and circumstances can change. You must know you still have options if you face a broken marriage or divorce before your two-year conditional residency period ends. This article delves into the waiver options available to immigrants navigating a divorce or their marriage breakdown during the dependent residency phase.

Conditional Residency and the Reality of Broken Marriages

Conditional residency is a stepping stone to obtaining permanent residency or a green card through marriage to a U.S. citizen. It is designed to ensure the legitimacy of the marital union, preventing marriages of convenience for immigration purposes. However, life doesn't always go as planned, and weddings can sometimes end in divorce or separation.

The Impact on Your Immigration Journey

When a marriage breaks down or ends in divorce before completing the two-year conditional residency period, it can introduce uncertainty into your immigration journey. Your eligibility for permanent residency might be at stake, and you may be faced with deportation.

Exploring Waiver Options

Fortunately, waiver options are available to immigrants facing divorce or broken marriages during their conditional residency. These waivers acknowledge your unique circumstances and allow you to continue pursuing your immigration goals. Here are some key waiver options to consider:

1. Waiver Based on Marriage Termination
If your marriage has ended in divorce or annulment before the completion of the conditional residency period, you can apply for a waiver based on the termination of the wedding. This waiver acknowledges that the purpose of the conditional residency was genuine, but the marriage could not be sustained due to unforeseen circumstances.

2. Extreme Hardship Waiver
You may be eligible for an extreme hardship waiver if you demonstrate that your deportation would result in undue hardship to you or your immediate family members who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents. This waiver considers the financial, emotional, and medical problems you or your family would experience if you were removed from the United States.

3. Waiver for Victims of Abuse
If you have experienced extreme cruelty, physical or psychological abuse by your U.S. citizen spouse, you may qualify for a waiver as a victim of abuse. This waiver recognizes your challenging circumstances and allows you to continue your immigration process independently of your abuser.

4. Good Faith Marriage Waiver
If you entered the marriage in good faith and it was terminated due to circumstances beyond your control, you may be eligible for a good faith marriage waiver. This waiver considers situations where the marriage was genuine but external factors contributed to its breakdown.

Seeking Legal Guidance

Navigating the complexities of conditional residency waivers requires legal expertise and a thorough understanding of immigration law. At Noyes & Associates, we have a team of experienced immigration attorneys who can guide you through the waiver application process, help you gather the necessary documentation, and advocate for your rights.

Protecting Your Immigration Future

A broken marriage or divorce doesn't have to derail your immigration dreams. With the proper legal guidance and waiver options, you can still pursue permanent residency and a brighter future in the United States. Contact Noyes & Associates today to discuss your situation and explore the waiver options available. We're here to support you every step of the way.