What to Expect At The I-751 Interview After Separation?
One of the most typical scenarios for our immigration law firm in Sacramento is when a spouse immigrates to the United States on a marriage visa but then gets a divorce from the spouse. Due to difficulties in the marriage, the couple separate and divorce before the Beneficiary gets the ten-year green card. They don’t have any children together, no major assets, and sometimes they haven’t even lived together for a very long time. All of a sudden, a simple filing of the I-751 Removal of conditions form, turns into a full-blown marriage fraud interview.
To the unsuspecting individual, there is a sense of relief after the first green card is received. People tend to think that they are safe from any allegations of marriage fraud once they get their two-year green card. The number one rule one must remember is that your marriage is ALWAYS going to be scrutinized up until you become a U.S. Citizen. We cannot tell you the interview horror stories that our unrepresented clients tell us even at the Naturalization interview if a separation or divorce occurs. This is because the USCIS may have a presumption of marriage fraud if you (obtained your green card through marriage) but divorce your Petitioner.
Once the separation occurs it is vital that you gather as much evidence that your marriage is real before filing the I-751. If you were physically or psychologically abused its important to gather these documents as well. That could mean that you will need police reports, witness statements, or communications between your spouse to show that you were abused.
Although the I-751 interview is usually 15-30 minutes, your immigration life depends on it. It is important you speak to an experienced attorney and gather up every shred of evidence to show that your marriage is real. Your attorney will be able to tell you what the local officers ask during the interview, the documents that are important, and the most concise way to answer the USCIS officer’s questions about the separation.