K-1 Immigration Lawyer Discusses Pre-Green Card Divorce Cases

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The stakes are high when you’re a foreign spouse divorcing a U.S. citizen petitioner before getting a Green Card. A K-1 immigration lawyer can guide you through this complex and uncertain period. The process can be more emotionally taxing than it is because it can put your immigration status in jeopardy. Hence, navigating a divorce while holding a K-1 nonimmigrant Visa requires the skills of a seasoned legal partner.

In such life-changing cases, it’s crucial to understand your options and rights. You need clarity and a plan of action regarding the consequences of your situation. Discover how credible legal advice can mitigate the risk of deportation or losing your chance to stay in the United States. Explore options to maintain your legal status independently of your previous marriage.

Let A K-1 Immigration Lawyer Guide You Through Your Fiancé Visa Process In The U.S.

A K-1 Immigration Lawyer Helps You During Divorce

Are you planning to file a divorce petition? You might wonder about the implications if you divorce your U.S. citizen petitioner before obtaining your Green Card. Generally, this action could jeopardize your legal status.

Proper legal support is essential for navigating complex matters like divorce involving a marriage-based Green Card application. A K-1 attorney can explain the implications of your situation and help you understand how divorce affects your immigration status. With their knowledge, you can handle the complexities of laws and avoid actions that could further endanger your stay in the United States.

A legal counsel’s guidance can help you make informed decisions and be proactive in securing your future. You’ll realize that a failed marriage with a U.S. citizen under a Fiancé Visa involves more than the inability to adjust your legal status. With this, it’s crucial to understand how your K-1 Visa and Green Card are interconnected.

Understanding The K-1 Visa & Green Card Process

The K-1 Visa, also known as the Fiancé(e) Visa, is a temporary Visa for foreign nationals engaged with U.S. citizens. It allows the fiancé(e) to enter the United States for the purpose of getting married within 90 days of arrival.

Upon marriage within the designated timeframe, the K-1 Visa becomes invalid. The foreign spouse needs to apply for an adjustment of status to obtain a Green Card to stay in the US legally. 

This process involves submitting a comprehensive application to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). It allows the foreign spouse to transition from a Temporary Visa holder to a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR).

If you initiate a divorce before receiving your Green Card, your status becomes uncertain. The USCIS highly considers the marriage’s stability and validity in your application. A move to dissolve it can question your eligibility for the Green Card. Divorce during the adjustment of status process can complicate matters and have significant effects.

The Impact Of Divorce Before Getting Your Green Card

Divorce itself is emotionally and financially draining, and when coupled with the threat of several legal implications, it becomes even more stressful. Here’s a detailed look at what can happen.

Immediate Loss Of Visa Status

Your marriage directly links to your K-1 Visa status. Suppose it ends before your adjustment of status is approved. In that case, you lose the basis for your stay in the country. The authorities grant this Temporary Visa expecting you to marry your petitioner and eventually apply for a Green Card. Divorce disrupts this process and invalidates the original purpose of your Visa.

Denial Of Adjustment Of Status Application

Your adjustment of status application hinges on the validity of your marriage. Immigration officials require proof that the marriage was genuine and not solely for immigration purposes. Your application lacks the foundational requirement without a valid marriage, and USCIS will likely deny it.

Limited Options For Alternative Visas

Finding alternative Visa options after a divorce can be challenging. Your eligibility for other Visa categories may be limited, especially if you lack the necessary qualifications or ties to the United States. Applying for a different Visa is tedious. These options might be out of reach without your former spouse’s support.

Deportation Risks

With the denial of your adjustment of status and the loss of your K-1 Visa, you face the risk of deportation. Being in the United States without legal status can result in removal proceedings. This can be a frightening and uncertain time, as deportation can disrupt your life and separate you from any support system you’ve established in the United States.

Given these severe consequences, it’s evident that divorce significantly impacts your immigration status and your American dream. However, legal options and support systems are available to help you navigate this challenging situation. You can explore various legal alternatives with the help of a K-1 immigration lawyer.

K-1 Immigration Lawyer Offers Legal Options & Alternatives

Several legal options and alternatives are available to navigate pre-Green Card divorce cases. Some of the possibilities that a seasoned immigration attorney can introduce include:

Self-Petitioning Under VAWA

Individuals who have been abused by their U.S. citizen or LPR spouse can self-petition under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). To qualify, you must provide evidence of the abuse or cruelty, the bona fide nature of the marriage, and a good moral character.

This waiver isn’t limited to physical abuse but includes emotional and psychological abuse. Successful VAWA self-petitioners can obtain work authorization and eventually apply for a Green Card independently of their spouse.

Other Non-Immigrant Visas

For those who wish to stay in the United States temporarily, your K-1 immigration lawyer can help you explore options. Applying for a non-immigrant Visa, including a Student Visa (F-1) or a specialty occupation Visa (H-1B), can be viable. While these do not directly lead to a Green Card, they allow you to remain in the country and potentially transition to an immigrant status later.

Family-Based Petitions From Other Relatives

If you have other qualifying family members who are U.S. citizens or LPRs, you might be eligible for a family-based petition. Immediate relatives, such as parents or adult children who are U.S. citizens, can sponsor you for a Green Card.

Asylum Or Refugee Status

If you are afraid of persecution in your home country, you may apply for asylum or refugee status. This entails proving you have a legitimate fear of persecution due to race, nationality, political opinion, religion, or association with a particular community.

Employment-Based Visas & Green Cards

Another option is to seek an employment-based Visa. Various employment-based categories (EB-1, EB-2, EB-3, etc.) offer pathways to lawful permanent residency based on professional qualifications and job offers from U.S. employers. This process typically requires a job offer and, in many cases, a labor certification from the Department of Labor.

Humanitarian Reasons

In some cases, you can apply for a waiver based on humanitarian grounds. This waiver is discretionary and can be granted in situations where you may face extreme hardship if forced to return to your home country. Humanitarian waivers are complex and require substantial evidence to support the claim.

Your lawyer can help you compile evidence and documents to support you in the pathway that mostly aligns with your situation. Consulting with a seasoned immigration law firm is crucial to navigating these options effectively and achieving permanent residency in the United States.

Lozano Law Firm Supports You During Trying Times

A K-1 Immigration Attorney Is An Important Legal Tool For Your Immigration Case

When deciding to pursue divorce before acquiring your Green Card, Lozano Law Firm stands ready to support you. Focusing on immigration law, our team brings a wealth of experience and in-depth awareness of the unique challenges posed by K-1 Visa cases. We provide a compassionate and personalized approach to each client’s situation.

With the skills and guidance offered by our Texas-based law firm, you can explore all available legal options and make wise choices about your future. Whether it’s applying for a different Visa category or seeking a waiver, we are with you every step of the way.

Our attorneys are well-versed in the nuances of immigration law and have a good track record of efficiently handling K-1 Visa and divorce cases. We know how to gather and present the necessary documentation to support your case and will advocate fiercely.

With us, you’re not just a case number. We genuinely invest in your success through our personalized approach. In challenging times such as immigration involving divorce, having a trusted legal partner can make all the difference.


Divorcing your U.S. citizen spouse before obtaining your Green Card is a challenging and stressful experience. Marriage is the foundation for your adjustment of status, and a divorce can endanger your immigration journey. Immediate effects include the potential denial of your permanent residency and the risk of deportation.

However, you can navigate this difficult time with the proper guidance and legal support. A K-1 immigration lawyer can help you understand your rights, legal, and alternatives, ensuring you take the best possible steps for your situation. Lozano Law Firm can devise a customized approach to make you feel more confident in taking the best possible steps for your future.

About Alfredo Lozano

alfredo lozano of lozano law firm inAlfredo Lozano is the founder and principal attorney at Lozano Law Firm, an immigration law firm serving the communities of San Antonio, Eagle Pass, Laredo and San Angelo in business and family-based immigration law. Mr. Lozano is a member of the State Bar of Texas, the San Antonio Bar Association, and the American Immigration Lawyers Association.

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