Mrs. Valentine Angry
To find out what would happen if Mrs. Angry, a national of Macedonia, were to divorce her U.S. citizen husband. Can she lose her green card?
Mrs. Angry married her U.S. citizen husband three years ago. Since that time, he has become lazy, ignores her, and spends all of his time on his book about extraterrestrial beings and the end of the world. This has caused a lot of problems in their marriage and now they fight every night. Mrs. Angry is fed up and wants to divorce her husband. The problem is, every time they have a big fight, her husband always wins the argument by threatening her, saying, "I'll get your green card taken away!"
Mrs. Angry received her permanent green card (without conditions) one year before via marriage to her husband and hasn't thought of applying for naturalization. She wants to stay in the U.S. if the marriage doesn't work out. But, she is now scared about her husband's threats and doesn't know what to do.
Since Mrs. Angry has already received a green card without conditions, a divorce will not invalidate her green card or status, granted that the marriage was not entered into fraudulently. Unless she is later indicted of or has already been accused of a felony or crime that would warrant the loss of her green card, Mrs. Angry can divorce her husband and keep her permanent residence status. The only thing different in this case is that Mrs. Angry will have to wait a full 5 years before she will be eligible to apply for naturalization, providing she meets the other requirements. Typically when a foreigner marries a U.S. citizen, there is only a 3 year wait period, instead of the normal 5 years, to become eligible for applying for naturalization due to a deference to the U.S. citizen. In Mrs. Angry's case, since she will no longer be tied to the marriage that gave rise to her permanent residency, she will be subject to the usual 5 year wait period.