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Immigration Corner | What will happen if I marry and divorce during my filing?

Published:Tuesday | December 6, 2022 | 12:05 AM

Dear Mrs Walker-Huntington,

If a petition to migrate to the United States was done while still single, and while waiting for the approval you got married but are now divorced, will that still be considered single?

KB

Dear KB

It depends. If the petitioner is a parent, it matters if they are a green card holder or a US citizen. If the parent petitioner is a green card holder and the beneficiary son/daughter marries while the petition is pending, the petition is voided. This happens because a green card holder cannot file for a married son/daughter. It does not matter if the son/daughter gets divorced before the interview, marriage while the petition is pending voids the petition.

However, if the petitioner parent is a US citizen and the beneficiary marries while the petition is pending, the beneficiary will move from the F1 preference category (unmarried son/daughter) to F3 preference category (married son/daughter). This move will increase the waiting period for the interview by several years. However, if the beneficiary divorces while the petition is pending, notification should be made to the State Department and they will return to the F1 category.

If the petitioner and beneficiary are siblings, it does not matter whether the beneficiary is single or married.

Dahlia A. Walker-Huntington, Esq, is a Jamaican-American attorney who practises immigration law in the United States; and family, criminal and international law in Florida. She is a diversity and inclusion consultant, mediator, and former special magistrate and hearing officer in Broward County, Florida. info@walkerhuntington.com