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Am I required to notify USCIS of divorce?

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  • Am I required to notify USCIS of divorce?

    Hello All,

    I am a USC. My soon-to-be ex-husband left me soon after receiving his conditional green card late last summer and has permanently relocated to Florida. I live in a no-fault divorce state and the divorce should be final late this Aug or early Sept. Since we filed all the paperwork together to get his green card, am I required to notify USCIS or provide them with a copy of the final divorce decree? He has changed his address in Florida several times and has changed or turned off his cell phone number to keep me from finding him. I know, I know, I was a complete idiot...and you have no idea how I have kicked myself for not "figuring it out" sooner; but I thought he loved me. So much for my thinking, huh?
    I just don't want to be in dutch with the government for not notifying them of the divorce; if it is something I must do. And if I must, what is the process, please.
    Thanks in advance for any helpful advice.

  • #2
    Hello All,

    I am a USC. My soon-to-be ex-husband left me soon after receiving his conditional green card late last summer and has permanently relocated to Florida. I live in a no-fault divorce state and the divorce should be final late this Aug or early Sept. Since we filed all the paperwork together to get his green card, am I required to notify USCIS or provide them with a copy of the final divorce decree? He has changed his address in Florida several times and has changed or turned off his cell phone number to keep me from finding him. I know, I know, I was a complete idiot...and you have no idea how I have kicked myself for not "figuring it out" sooner; but I thought he loved me. So much for my thinking, huh?
    I just don't want to be in dutch with the government for not notifying them of the divorce; if it is something I must do. And if I must, what is the process, please.
    Thanks in advance for any helpful advice.

    Comment


    • #3
      Dear rainydays,

      I'm sorry this happened. Please try not to blame yourself for not seeing through his lies. I do think you should notify USCIS. Make a copy of the divorce decree and send it with a cover letter, which includes your ex-husband's name, A#, case # and other information that you have by certified mail or return receipt. In your letter simply state that you are notifying them of the divorce and that you do not have a forwarding address or phone number for him. After this, let it go. Obsessing will only hurt you more. I will you healing and happiness in the immediate future.

      Where is our husband from?

      best wishes,
      bigdummy

      Comment


      • #4
        STOP THE DIVORCE !!!!

        It is much better to get an ANNULLMENT BASED ON FRAUD !!!!!!

        You should definitely notify USCIS once it is FINAL by sending letters to the local office and the regional office; INCLUDE HIS "A" Number !

        Comment


        • #5
          bigdummy, he is from Managua, Nicaragua. He entered legally with his Visa, but overstayed. I didn't know he was illegal until he "confided" in me 6 months into our relationship. He said he was trying to become legal and obtain a work permit before we met. I thought he had a lawyer and was taking care of this all on his own!! I should have known better - it was all a lie. It's all been nothing but lies from him. And *I* was the Biggest Dummy of all for being so naive.

          Michael, I cannot afford an attorney. He has sent no money back to help with the house payments or any of the other bills associated with the house. In Washington, where I live, I've downloaded all the court documents needed to file for divorce, completed my sections and have mailed them to his work address. I am waiting to receive the papers back from him with his signature. Washington is a no-fault divorce state so I am not sure I can file for divorce because of fraud; at least not without hiring a very expensive attorney. And again, I just don't have the money to pay for it. And he isn't helping me financially.
          Believe me when I tell you, I am so ashamed and embarassed. Not to mention broken-hearted. This is without a doubt the hardest lesson I have ever had to learn.

          Thank you both for being so kind and for offering your helpful advice. I appreciate you both!

          Comment


          • #6
            If you think he will sign those papers, then you must be on drugs; an annullment is NOT expensive but only if you strike first; we are talking 1 or 2 thousand dollars (mine cost $1500 in New York; a fault state); if I kept on waiting for her to sign, she would have filed against me and cost me much more; believe me; HE WILL NOT SIGN; you better go see a lawyer right now and get an annullment based on fraud; the expenses be d a m n e d; its cheaper in the long run

            Comment


            • #7
              Since he only has a "conditional" green card, there's no requirement on your part to notify USCIS of the divorce, unless you wish to report fraud to USCIS to try to evade the I864 requirement. If you do, you will have to have compelling evidence to show.

              Once the divorce is final he will be able to petition to remove the conditions. He does not need to wait until 90-days before the 2 year anniversary of the award of his green card in order to do so. He would file a waiver on the basis that he claims the marriage was bona fide but ended in divorce. The onus would be on him to show that by way of documentation that you co-mingled your financial and social lives.

              The sooner the divorce occurs, the sooner he gets to file his waiver. If he has little in the way of evidence he may have difficulty overcoming the hurdle. If the divorce if filed later and it just happens that he has not yet finalised the divorce at the time he should normally file his I751, then he would run the risk of not being able to file in a timely fashion. If he does not meet the deadline with a waiver he would fall out of status and receive notification that he is subject to removal.
              The above is simply an opinion. Your mileage may vary. For immigration issues, please consult an immigration attorney.

              Comment


              • #8
                Thank you all so much! You are all so kind and so very helpful!!
                Michael, I am calling around to see if I can find a reasonably priced atty for an annulment based on fraud. Keep your fingers crossed for me! One atty already quoted me $2400 retainer. YIKES!!!
                SappyConifer, I hear what you're saying. If I have to go the divorce route, I will make it take as loooooong as I possibly can!!

                You all are GREAT!! I cannot thank you all enough for the kindness, advice and support!!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Shop around; you dont need a rocket scientist; you need to act fast; that is much more important

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Michael, I'm calling and calling; I've spent most of my afternoon calling. No one accepts AMEX and they all want between $2400 and $2700 retainer fees. PLUS, the cost of having him served ((because he WILL contest this)) all the way over in Florida. I'm doing my best, but it looks like I'm going to have to get a divorce. THAT, he won't contest.
                    Don't give up on me, Michael........I don't have cash, my AMEX won't let me get that high of a cash advance, and I can't find anyone who will help me for less than $2400 cash.
                    Please, do you have any other suggestions? I'm open to anything and I will listen to any advice you have to offer.

                    Many Thanks!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      What are your primary objectives? Identify which one or ones apply

                      1. to terminate the marriage as quickly as possible?
                      2. to terminate the marital union so that no permanent residence is conferred to him?
                      3. to terminate the marriage and regain monies he took?
                      4. to terminate the marriage with an eye to gaining some temporary relief as in spousal support, if applicable?
                      5. to relieve yourself of the I-864 upon termination of the marriage?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        My primary objective is to terminate the marriage and make sure he cannot obtain an unconditional green card based on our "marriage".
                        I have no interest in regaining any monies or spousal support. I work full-time and take care of myself.
                        But from what I am hearing, Washington state does not provide annulments; only certificates of invalidity and those are extraordinarily hard to come by..........and expensive.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          What, specifically, leads you to believe he never had bona fide intent at the beginning of the marriage?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Same difference, really. To have the marriage declared invalid by the court achieves the same result in terms of immigration. (Annulment in the religious context of course is a little different).

                            It shouldn't cost any more than a typical contested divorce, except that I suspect your husband's counsel will leave you to your proofs and without them it would be difficult to get a judgment in your favour. Although annulment does not render your husband's immigration case impossible, annulment on the basis of fraudulent inducement into marriage as a cause of action, your husband's counsel would undoubtedly contest the action by a counter claim for divorce, because of the potential impact on his legal status.

                            Washington State does render annulments or declaration of invalidity under Statute
                            § 26.09.040 of the Revised Code of Washington.




                            RCW 26.09.040
                            Petition to have marriage declared invalid or judicial determination of validity "” Procedure "” Findings "” Grounds "” Legitimacy of children.

                            (1) While both parties to an alleged marriage are living, and at least one party is resident in this state or a member of the armed service and stationed in the state, a petition to have the marriage declared invalid may be sought by:

                            (a) Either or both parties, or the guardian of an incompetent spouse, for any cause specified in subsection (4) of this section; or

                            (b) Either or both parties, the legal spouse, or a child of either party when it is alleged that the marriage is bigamous.

                            (2) If the validity of a marriage is denied or questioned at any time, either or both parties to the marriage may petition the court for a judicial determination of the validity of such marriage.

                            (3) In a proceeding to declare the invalidity of a marriage, the court shall proceed in the manner and shall have the jurisdiction, including the authority to provide for maintenance, a parenting plan for minor children, and division of the property of the parties, provided by this chapter.

                            (4) After hearing the evidence concerning the validity of a marriage, if both parties to the alleged marriage are still living, the court:

                            (a) If it finds the marriage to be valid, shall enter a decree of validity;

                            (b) If it finds that:

                            (i) The marriage should not have been contracted because of age of one or both of the parties, lack of required parental or court approval, a prior undissolved marriage of one or both of the parties, reasons of consanguinity, or because a party lacked capacity to consent to the marriage, either because of mental incapacity or because of the influence of alcohol or other incapacitating substances, or because a party was induced to enter into the marriage by force or duress, or by fraud involving the essentials of marriage, and that the parties have not ratified their marriage by voluntarily cohabiting after attaining the age of consent, or after attaining capacity to consent, or after cessation of the force or duress or discovery of the fraud, shall declare the marriage invalid as of the date it was purportedly contracted;

                            (ii) The marriage should not have been contracted because of any reason other than those above, shall upon motion of a party, order any action which may be appropriate to complete or to correct the record and enter a decree declaring such marriage to be valid for all purposes from the date upon which it was purportedly contracted;

                            (c) If it finds that a marriage contracted in a jurisdiction other than this state, was void or voidable under the law of the place where the marriage was contracted, and in the absence of proof that such marriage was subsequently validated by the laws of the place of contract or of a subsequent domicile of the parties, shall declare the marriage invalid as of the date of the marriage.

                            (5) Any child of the parties born or conceived during the existence of a marriage of record is legitimate and remains legitimate notwithstanding the entry of a declaration of invalidity of the marriage.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              The other, not as sure fire as annulment based on fraud option, is to divorce him the cheap way, and then call and write USCIS and tell them that your husband entered into the marriage based on fraud. Give his full name and A#, and your full name and contact information. If you call the National Customer Service Center and the local office that has his file, it's likely that USCIS will call him on it at the I-751 interview.

                              Comment

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