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cute-cactus

PLEASE HELP!!! I-751 pending and divorce

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16 hours ago, NikLR said:

If you don't respond to the RFE they send you before an immigration judge and you explain the situation.  Judges are generally pretty forgiving knowing that some states have weird requirements for divorce.  As long as the divorce was proceeding, you wouldn't be outright denied residency. If you were still just separated and the divorce hasn't even been started yet, they're going to wonder why the heck you changed to a divorce waiver.  if your ex wants to divorce now, it's fine.  Stop holding him back due to your immigration.  That's not fair.  He has the right to divorce you if he doesn't want to stay married.  

 

one major thing to remember about divorce, the person who INITIATES the divorce, generally has the upper hand.  The other person is often stuck responding to demands vs making the demands. 

you didn't read all my post, I don't have a problem divorce, the problem is in NC state it takes at least 1 year of separation before you are allowed to file divorce.  Even I want to divorce now, I am not able to do that.  

 

and meanwhile, for other people's case, even a couple's marriage is falling apart and they agree just to seperatate to cool off instead of divorce, even for immigration purpose, I don't think it is a big issue too, some citizen couples stay in married for kids' sake, for insurance's sake, or whatever sake,  as long as they agree with each other, why other people would judge that?   immigration issue is a big issue because that affect your ability to work and survive. even a couple agreed to stay together before the 751 is approved, that does not mean their marriage in the first place was not truthful before. divorce is the biggest thing in life, of course people will weigh a lot of aspect before they put it into real action. I don't see any problem with it. and for you to make this kind of assumption is very subjective, I don't think the immigration officer at N400 will be judgmental like this, maybe herself/himself has a bad marriage and for whatever reason didn't get divorced.

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20 hours ago, cqqzj said:

 

 

Thank you so much for your reply! your point is legit and I think it is worth thinking about. If I send a letter to them right now and notify them we have separated but not divorced, will they give me REF and ask for a divorce decree within 87 days?  my problem is I cannot provide that until next year because our state has to separate for 1 year to divorce. My only fear is after they know I am separated, they will request a divorce decree within 87 days which I cannot provide, that case I will be deny the green card for sure......

 

If I send them a letter right now, what could happen,  a REF and interview? what if my husband will not go with me and I cannot provide a divorce decree either..... Thank you in advance!

If or when you send them a letter requesting to switch to a divorce waiver they will at some point send an RFE (with 87 days to respond) asking for the final decree. This can happen as soon as a few weeks after you send the letter to a few months or more. I cant tell you how long it will take for them to send the RFE. No one can. It depends on the workload of the officers. Someone has to actually access your file and read the letter and issue the RFE. When you send the letter it will just get looked at and put in your file, so you have to wait for the Officer to actually handle your case and read the letter and take action. 

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19 hours ago, Scazy said:

Hi Damara! This makes me a bit confused. I saw threads myself here on VJ where applicant indeed had a problem during n400 because they fail to inform USICS that they divorce before i751 is approved . It totally makes sence as they not quality for joint roc at this point. 

But, I never seen a problem with m400 in a situation (and I did extensive research in a past), where a couple remain married and gets joint  roc approval, even through they are  technically separated.

i totally don't follow how USICS knows about the marriage issues that's happening  while both are still married and how exactly that may trigger a problem at n 400? For example A is approved without RFE or interview and going to n400 interview under 5 year rule being already divorced my that time, IO asks A when divorce took a place and A tell a date past roc approval, IO asking for a reasons of divorce and A replies about relationships not working out past year, yet they tried to make it work but it's just didn't happen. 

What possible trouble that may cause with N 400 considering they NOT divorcing before 751 approval?? 

Please share your point of view on this situation 

First of all you can qualify for a joint roc even if divorced. (read the memo). The issue is not the legal status of the marriage but rather the validity of the bonafides of the marriage (for however long it lasted). Like I said before when you submit a joint ROC you send a bunch of evidence. This usually includes proof of joint address and joint bills. When you separate you typically no longer share the same residence or bills or assets. This is what needs to be disclosed to USCIS so they have all the current info on the evidence you submitted. You dont want to get approved with them thinking the evidence they have is current and hasnt changed since submission. 

 

So again its not so much about the actual divorce date but about the joint evidence being accurate that they considered when approving you.  Being separated (but not yet divorced) changes the evidence.

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18 hours ago, cqqzj said:

 

I second your post. I think if a person got divorced already before she/he received 10 years card, then she/he will have a problem at N400. but if when she got the green card while she is still separating (working on the marriage), I don't think it would cause problem with N400.

As I posted above being separated changes the evidence so it would cause issues when doing the n400. Im assuming no one posting has ever been divorced hence the lack of knowledge of what is actually included in a divorce decree. It typically states the day the couple separated as well as the date the decree becomes final. This is how it is discovered at naturalization that they were separated during ROC process. 

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12 hours ago, Ali7 said:

Thank god I found this @cute-cactus I'm going THROUGH THE SAME THING as you! and I'm freaking out, I don't know what to do.

 

My husband and I apply applied jointly for I751 on October, 2017. I never got a biometrics appointment (as many October filers didn't either) so on January 2018, I called USCIS and opened an inquiry case. 15 days later, they send me an email saying "Thank you for your inquiry regarding an appointment to have your biometric images processed at an Application Support Center. We are, unfortunately, experiencing a longer processing period than what is reflected on your Form I-751 Receipt Notice for this process..." so I let it like thats.

 

Now, it says that my case has been transferred to my local office ( probably means that we are gonna get and interview that I have to wait till March 29th to hear something back from them and then I can open another case inquiry) from California service center. A few people from July and October 2017 got approved without biometrics, or interview or anything and their case was transferred to their local office as well. 

 

Now, my problem is that right now we are about to file for divorce (probably after march 29th). in my state, I can get my divorce whiting a month if it ends in good terms like our marriage. we love each other but we can't just be together.

My husband is willing to go with me  to the interview, if we get one, to explain them everything. But what if they approved me already and they send me the GC before the 29th of march? what should we do? should we wait to get divorce, should we notify USCIS about our thoughts since we haven't even started the divorce process yet? what if I get an interview and I go with my husband? can I ask them to switch my jointly to a waiver right there? what are my changes to get denied? 

 

I’m literally in tears and freaking out! I’m just looking for an advice from people who’s been through the same thing as me because I don’t know what to do. Maybe @Damara would be able to give me some clarity and help me to make my next step in the smartest way. 

 

Thank you guys!

 

From my browsing of the forums it seems a whole bunch of people got notified they were sent to the local office. The threads Ive seen speculate it could be some sort of error. I have no idea though. It could be a massive workload transfer to the local offices. So keep that in mind. 

 

As for when to notify them the best I can say is as soon as possible. If you are going to have a quick divorce process then I dont see any reason to not send them a letter today. As posted before it is unknown how long it will take USCIS to review your letter and send an RFE, but the RFE will give you 87 days to respond so even if they send the RFE promptly you would have the final decree to send with in the time frame. 

 

Very few people get denied ROC. And separation/divorce is not a reason to deny it. 

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1 hour ago, cqqzj said:

you didn't read all my post, I don't have a problem divorce, the problem is in NC state it takes at least 1 year of separation before you are allowed to file divorce.  Even I want to divorce now, I am not able to do that.  

 

and meanwhile, for other people's case, even a couple's marriage is falling apart and they agree just to seperatate to cool off instead of divorce, even for immigration purpose, I don't think it is a big issue too, some citizen couples stay in married for kids' sake, for insurance's sake, or whatever sake,  as long as they agree with each other, why other people would judge that?   immigration issue is a big issue because that affect your ability to work and survive. even a couple agreed to stay together before the 751 is approved, that does not mean their marriage in the first place was not truthful before. divorce is the biggest thing in life, of course people will weigh a lot of aspect before they put it into real action. I don't see any problem with it. and for you to make this kind of assumption is very subjective, I don't think the immigration officer at N400 will be judgmental like this, maybe herself/himself has a bad marriage and for whatever reason didn't get divorced.

Because your state has a 1 year requirement to get the final decree you will most likely end up in immigration court. It sounds scary but its not that big of a deal. What will happen is you send your letter advising them of the situation (that you are separated and need to wait 1 year for the final decree) and the Officer will send the RFE. You may also get an interview. When all is said and done the officer has to deny your case for not having the final decree. (unless you choose to remain in the joint petition with your spouse and they come to the interview). If you go the waiver route you will be denied by the Officer for not having the decree and sent to immigration court. There the judge will place your file on hold until you get the decree and once you do it gets sent back to USCIS for approval. 

An immigration attny is not required but most people that end up in immigration court prefer to have one since the procedures there can be complex to navigate. So you may want to consider hiring an attny for court if it goes that route. You also need to send another 751 when you are denied to maintain your status and ability to work. So the process will be more costly but the point is there is a path for people who find themselves in this situation. 

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28 minutes ago, Damara said:

First of all you can qualify for a joint roc even if divorced. (read the memo). The issue is not the legal status of the marriage but rather the validity of the bonafides of the marriage (for however long it lasted). Like I said before when you submit a joint ROC you send a bunch of evidence. This usually includes proof of joint address and joint bills. When you separate you typically no longer share the same residence or bills or assets. This is what needs to be disclosed to USCIS so they have all the current info on the evidence you submitted. You dont want to get approved with them thinking the evidence they have is current and hasnt changed since submission. 

 

So again its not so much about the actual divorce date but about the joint evidence being accurate that they considered when approving you.  Being separated (but not yet divorced) changes the evidence.

I cant edit this ... Its suppose to say you can qualify for a joint roc even if separated. Once you are divorced you need the waiver. Sorry for the typo. 

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2 hours ago, NikLR said:

I never said it would be denied because of that in any post.  There is a red flag and you have to acknowledge it existing.   Beyond that I dont really care about the N-400, mostly it's the suspicious nature of staying married for a green card for ROC that I am pointing out for the OP since that is their concern.  As someone who has no intent on naturalizing I cannot comment very much on the N-400.   That discussion is in an entirely different forum as well. 

 

If you want you can start your own topic for your case vs thread hijacking? 

Hhmmm excuse me? My questions were totally in topic of this thread, but thank you for your input - Good to know  there is no real issue if divorce happens shortly after ROC, except maybe extra questions during n400.  As long as that "red flag" has 0 effect or risk for your approved and existing residency and citizenship, it's a personal choice to weight it out and act accordingly. My parents were married 3 years after separation, things happens. Have a nice day.

 

 

38 minutes ago, Damara said:

First of all you can qualify for a joint roc even if divorced. (read the memo). The issue is not the legal status of the marriage but rather the validity of the bonafides of the marriage (for however long it lasted). Like I said before when you submit a joint ROC you send a bunch of evidence. This usually includes proof of joint address and joint bills. When you separate you typically no longer share the same residence or bills or assets. This is what needs to be disclosed to USCIS so they have all the current info on the evidence you submitted. You dont want to get approved with them thinking the evidence they have is current and hasnt changed since submission. 

 

So again its not so much about the actual divorce date but about the joint evidence being accurate that they considered when approving you.  Being separated (but not yet divorced) changes the evidence.

I understand that, but my question is still there though :in scenario I posted above where people  staying in bad marriage and NOT divorcing prior 751, getting approved without RFE and interview, I can't find any examples how that would hurt in a future.  Correct me if I'm wrong please. 

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While your questions are within the topic of this thread, on VJ even if your questions are within a topic, unless that topic is general in nature (monthly posters for example) we prefer people to start their own threads so their issues can be directly addressed. This way the topic does not veer from the OP whose own issues take priority in their thread.


You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.  - Dr. Seuss

 

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Every situation is different. I suppose it depends on what you mean by the couple 'stays together'. If they physically separate and have different addresses and divided up joint bills and responsibilities and are only legally married on paper- then yes, that would make an issue if not disclosed during ROC. USCIS will see the date of separation on the final decree at naturalization and do the math themselves to figure out they were separated during the ROC process and they were unaware when they approved it.  If the couple remains married on paper and still live together and share assets and debts but are just unhappy then thats not an issue. 

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6 hours ago, Damara said:

Every situation is different. I suppose it depends on what you mean by the couple 'stays together'. If they physically separate and have different addresses and divided up joint bills and responsibilities and are only legally married on paper- then yes, that would make an issue if not disclosed during ROC. USCIS will see the date of separation on the final decree at naturalization and do the math themselves to figure out they were separated during the ROC process and they were unaware when they approved it.  If the couple remains married on paper and still live together and share assets and debts but are just unhappy then thats not an issue. 

Very interesting input, thank you! Something definitely to consider in a states that require "cool off" period! In other hand some states you can put a date of separation a day before filing for divorce and it's all good! A lot of light been spreaded at this thread and I hope it will make one's decision easier! 

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Cute Cactus. 

I can't offer any more information than what's already been discussed here, but I wanted to reassure you a little bit about your situation as I am going through the same thing just a few months ahead of you. 

My husband left me after 3.5 years of marriage while my I-751 was still pending. Reading your initial post, I can identify with what you are going through. It's a crazy time both emotionally and legally for us, immigrants. 

There are different roads you can take, but one thing to keep in mind is to never to deceive Immigrations. If you get caught, you can get into a lot of trouble.

I personally chose to go through with the divorce as soon as possible to be able to put in a divorce waiver. I did that rather than wait until I naturally get the green card, because even if I got the green card without an interview, I would have needed to change my married name back to my maiden name on the green card and USCIS can look back into files after they grant the green card and investigate the validity of it.

There are many immigration lawyers who offer free consultations. I took advantage of that to seek initial advice when my husband first left me. It's really tough to figure out what is the best decision at the time when life is in such turmoil. Hang in there and seek help. There is help available and you have rights. 

I ended up getting an immigration lawyer and she helped me put together the material for the waiver. But if you don't have the money for that, it's not too hard to do and you can do it without a lawyer. My case is still pending, so I can't tell you just yet how this has worked out for me. If I get denied, I can still go to court. 

If you want to connect in private, I'll be happy to tell you more or answer questions. I'm sorry you have to go through this.  

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23 hours ago, cqqzj said:

you didn't read all my post, I don't have a problem divorce, the problem is in NC state it takes at least 1 year of separation before you are allowed to file divorce.  Even I want to divorce now, I am not able to do that.  

 

and meanwhile, for other people's case, even a couple's marriage is falling apart and they agree just to seperatate to cool off instead of divorce, even for immigration purpose, I don't think it is a big issue too, some citizen couples stay in married for kids' sake, for insurance's sake, or whatever sake,  as long as they agree with each other, why other people would judge that?   immigration issue is a big issue because that affect your ability to work and survive. even a couple agreed to stay together before the 751 is approved, that does not mean their marriage in the first place was not truthful before. divorce is the biggest thing in life, of course people will weigh a lot of aspect before they put it into real action. I don't see any problem with it. and for you to make this kind of assumption is very subjective, I don't think the immigration officer at N400 will be judgmental like this, maybe herself/himself has a bad marriage and for whatever reason didn't get divorced.

To respond to the top, I did read it.  You need to have a legal separation, aka on paper, for one year in NC.  So an immigration judge would accept that as a weird rule in that state so they would not deny your 10 year card because of that.  So yes, i did read your whole post and I did google the requirements.  As such you'd have proof you are going through the legalities of your state towards divorce.  

 


You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.  - Dr. Seuss

 

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I do understand that people separate and do not get legally divorced for YEARS.  My mother did it for 7 because she couldnt afford a divorce (it's rather expensive in BC.) A friend if mine spent 5 years trying to be divorced but her ex was a jerk. But neither of those peopke were dealing with immigration.  What normal people do, is not adequate for those of us who immigrate.  We, as immigrants, need to think deeper into everything. I suppose thats why so many people seek citizenship asap.   

 

Best of luck OP.  I really dont think you'll have an issue with a divorce waiver.  Sure it takes longer but im willing to bet you have good evidence.  I am sorry that your marriage did not work out as you hoped. Im sorry if my responses have seemed not compassionate as well.  


You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.  - Dr. Seuss

 

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 Hello @Damara, 

 

Yes, my husband and I are separated/soon filing for divorce and filed as joint/together (However we still live together and we plan to live together for a little bit in the house we bought together for financial reasons). I haven't notified the USCIS yet because the divorce announcement happened a few days ago and I am still "digesting" it.  

Could you please give more details about "You can be approved on a joint petition if you both show up and both wish to remain in the joint petition"? 
My soon to be ex-husband agreed to continue to support our joint petition and even to write an affidavit. I was wondering in the case of an interview if the immigration office would ask us the exact reasons why we got a divorce or if the "irreconcilable differences" is enough for the immigration officer and the USCIS.

 

On 3/8/2018 at 8:11 AM, Damara said:

You can be approved on a joint petition if you both show up and both wish to remain in the joint petition and have sufficient proof of the relationship. It doesnt matter if you are now separated or pending divorce in this case.

 

On 3/8/2018 at 8:11 AM, Damara said:

Or you can decide that you dont want him involved in the process any longer or do not trust him to attend and not say something bad- so you would include in your letter a request to switch to a divorce waiver. As stated no one knows how long it will take for them to RFE you for the final decree. You may end up in immigration court having to present it. But its not a big deal.

2

So if I don't get the divorce decree on time, I will only go to the immigration court to present to the judge my divorce decree? Immigration court sounds very scary to me.

 

Thank you  Damara and mindthegap

 

Edited by cute-cactus

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