Divorce and Immigration


Scam Alert:

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has issued a warning advising of a telephone scam targeting USCIS customers. Scammers are using new technology referred to as “Caller ID spoofing” to display a false phone number in the recipient’s caller ID information. The scammer pretends to be a USCIS official and requests personal information (such as Social Security number, passport number, or A-number) and then claims that there are problems with the recipient’s immigration records. The caller then asks for payment to correct these records.

The USCIS has urged the public that if they receive a call like that, they should immediately hang up.  The USCIS wants the public to be assured that it never requests any form of payment or personal information over telephone. Those who may have been victimized by this scam or similar scams should consider reporting such activity to the appropriate local, state, or federal law enforcement agency.

Q I was married to a U.S. citizen and was granted conditional permanent residence based on my marriage. My husband and I are now divorced. My conditional green card will expire in six months. How can I apply to remove the conditions on my own?

A In order to ensure that marriages are entered into in good faith, there is a two year limit placed on green cards when it is issued to spouses in marriages that were less than two years old. In your case, you can apply for a waiver to have the conditions removed from your green card. You will request the waiver on the basis that your marriage was entered into in good faith, but the marriage fell apart and you have a final divorce judgment. The burden of proof is high and you will need to provide evidence regarding the bona fide of your marriage.

Q I am on an H-4 visa. I am currently separated from my husband and our divorce will be finalized soon. I am interested in going to school in the United States. What are my options?

Your H-4 status is dependent on the relation of marriage to your husband. If you are interested in going to school, you should apply for a change of status from H-4 to F-1, the non-immigrant student visa that allows foreigners to pursue education in the United States, before your divorce is finalized. Alternatively, you can also apply for any other non-immigrant status, depending on your circumstances. Once the divorce is final, you are no longer qualified as dependant, and therefore will not qualify for the H-4 status.

Immigration and business attorney Indu Liladhar-Hathi has an office in San Jose.(408) 453-5335.

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