Can I divorce my husband from overseas and also “abandon” my conditional resident card?

I became a resident via marriage to a US citizen. I had to fly over to my country of origin for family matters and now we want a divorce. I do not wish to return if I cannot obtain my resident card while going through a divorce as I woudln’t have family/emotional/physical support that side. Could I go through the divorce via overseas in South Africa or should I go back? I’ve only been outside the US for less then 4 months. There are no belongings/possessions in our name. Only our own debt and we have no kids. Do I serve the papers or does he? And should I send back my resident card first, then file the divorce?

Asked on July 17, 2012 under Immigration Law, Florida


SB, Member, California / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

It reallly depends on whether you have a conditional resident card or a permanent one.  If it is permanent, you keep your status even if you get divorced.  If it is a conditional card, you will need to file a petition to remove the conditional status and if you are able to prove that the marriage was bona fide and not for immigration benefits, then you have a good chance of getting the conditional status removed and having a permanent resident status that is permanent.  NO one can tell you whether you will or will not get to keep your status without knowing the specifics of your case.  You can consult with an immigration attorney regarding your situation, if you want to have more information.

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