Immigration: Divorce/Separation

Another close issue is a current spouse separated or living apart at the time the I-130 Petition is either filed or being processed. Naturally, the cooperation of the citizen spouse, who is likely the Petitioner in this case, is necessary. It would be extremely difficult to attend an interview with a hostile spouse from whom a beneficiary is separated, but not divorced. Care must be taken to appreciate the damage to the Green Card Petition that could be done by a spouse that is angry, upset or hostile about the separation.

These situations are all very different, but it is likely that despite the differences the same underlying problems would arise. For all the proof a beneficiary may bring to the interview, the hostile spouse may bring proof of the opposite situation. An example might be that the beneficiary would bring the wedding photos, the couple's bank account statements, lease agreements and similar items. The angry spouse might bring pictures of a boyfriend/girlfriend, proof of separate leases, and proof of items held separately in the name of each. While INS investigators are reasonable, and do not ever require a couple be harmoniously married, they will still look closely at the proof related to a bona fide marriage. If the hostile spouse introduces contrary evidence, the marriage could be made to look like it was "just for Green Card purposes." You should be careful not to submit your Petition if you have this situation, or to make a decision to disclose the spouse's hostility, and any presumptions may be overcome with real evidence of marriage.

Posted in: Immigration