More than 400,000 citizens of the United States marry somebody born in a foreign country and petition for them to receive permanent residence in the U.S. every single year. U.S. citizens’ spouses are classified as immediate relatives under immigration laws and are exempted from numerical limitations.

Many people living in New Jersey are immigrants from elsewhere and your spouse maybe one. When you are contemplating divorce, you have to think about the complex intersection of immigration and divorce issues. New Jersey courts will typically view an immigrant spouse or his or her children sympathetically unless there are clear issues of fraud involved.

A clear issue of immigration in divorce cases is that a person who immigrates to the United States based on a marriage that is less than two years old at the time of his or her admission to the country will get conditional permanent resident status. This status lasts for two years.

Prior to the second anniversary of his or her admission to the country as an immigrant, the conditional resident has to file a petition with the INS. If the marriage is still intact, then the spouse receives permanent residence. However, if the marriage is dissolved, then the immigrant spouse loses his or her protections and becomes deportable.

A person who has received their permanent residence based on a relationship with a U.S. citizen’s spouse or an alien parent U.S. citizen’s spouse, are given conditional permanent residence if the qualifying marriage occurred within the two years before the date of the permanent residence was conferred. This means that the permanent residence can be subjected to termination if it is found that the marriage was based on fraud.

This conditional permanent residence can be terminated within two years from the date that it was granted if the marriage has been terminated through divorce. Consulting with a dedicated Hackensack immigration and divorce attorney helps to illuminate you about the key issues involved in your case and the next steps you need to take to protect yourself.