Jon and Kate Plus 8, the once-popular TLC reality program about the Gosselin family, their twins and their sextuplets is kaput. But that’s old news. Today, the Gosselins officially closed the chapter on their 10 year marriage with the announcement their divorce becoming final.
Divorce is always difficult. Kate says she looks forward to her future. No word from Jon…yet. For the Gosselins, they can and should move on.
But what if Jon or Kate were immigrants? What if Jon or Kate faced deportation because their marriage failed? If Jon or Kate had been granted a greencard based on their marriage, what would happen to them once their marriage ended?
This is an immigration concept called conditional residency. We represent many individuals who apply for permanent residency through their marriage to a US citizen. These are usually great cases because we are helping happy new couples stay together, and “move forward” in their lives. But what happens if the happy couple separates or divorces? In the worst scenario, USCIS will revoke or terminate the foreign spouse’s conditional residency, leaving the spouse vulnerable to deportation proceedings, standing alone and at best, with competent immigration counsel at his/her side.
In revoking conditional residency and initiating deportation proceedings, USCIS looks into the nitty gritty details of what happened in that marriage, was the marriage entered into for the immigration benefit rather than purely for love? Who’s fault was it that the marriage ended? And could you (the foreign national) prove it? Imagine the reality show going behind the scenes to investigate, whether it was Kate’s nagging that led to the failure of the marriage, or whether Jon’s alleged affairs were the actual cause of the breakup and divorce. And would you feel comfortable knowing that USCIS is your final arbiter? If you married, got conditional residency and are now in divorce proceedings or separated from your spouse, think about calling Fong & Aquino for a consultation. —ecf