i485 pending divorce

My I-485 Green Card Is Pending, Spouse Threatening Divorce!

Watch as I answer a reader’s question about his wife threatening him with divorce and revoking the I-864 affidavit of support.

When you have a green card application pending with USCIS (form I-485) it can be stressful when your marriage isn’t working out. This is because your green card is based on a valid marriage to a US citizen.

So, what should you do if your American spouse is threatening to pull the I-864 affidavit of support and file for divorce?

Reader Question:

I am an immigrant married in good faith to my US citizen wife and our marriage has been going through some hard times. We had our I-485 interview in December 2018 which went perfectly well and I was told by the immigration officer that I should get my green card approved in less than 30 days. 

But to my surprise, my US wife gave me a conditional agreement to sign stating that if I decide to leave her I will pay her rent, utility bills and her car loan. I refused to sign this because we married in good faith and I dont currently have a social due to some errors and delays by USCIS sending rejection notice for my work authorization after the correct fee was paid. 

Prior to this, my wife was actually married to an immigrant and after she filed for divorce, she wrote to immigration to withdraw her support document (I-864) for her previous spouse. I recently found out and made a copy of the letter she wrote to immigration. She is asking me for money which I don’t have right now and she threatened to prepare the divorce papers knowing full well my case is pending with USCIS. What can I do?

Related Post: Divorce With Pending I-485, Can You Adjust Status With A New Spouse?

Question Highlights:

  • Completed the I-485 interview and it went well
  • Immigration officer said he should be approved within 30 days
  • They married in good faith
  • Wife wants him to sign contract stating he will pay her bills
  • If he doesn’t sign, she will revoke the I-864
  • Wife has done the same thing to previous spouse

As you can see from the details above, this reader is under a lot of stress. They are worried about their green card application being denied if their spouse revokes the I-864 before the green card is approved.

In my opinion, this is a very toxic marriage! Not only did she threaten him with divorce but she is also blackmailing him! How ridiculously is that?

Sometimes it’s hard to know who you married but people do change for better or worse.

My Answer:

  • This Is A Toxic Marriage!
    • Get out of this marriage as fast as possible! She doesn’t respect you as her husband and is using you for money. Yes, I know that your green card status depends on a valid real marriage but you can apply for a green card without her using VAWA. You may be able to prove emotional abuse that you’ve suffered at her hands. Gather as much evidence as you can regarding her threats and the contract she wants you to sign.
  • Do Not Sign Any Document Under Duress.
    • If your wife wants you to sign something saying that you will pay her rent, utilities and car insurance – don’t do it! Although I doubt that it will be legally binding in court, it’s still not a good idea to sign this document. Try to get a copy of it for your own records and to help build a case for VAWA if you go that route.
  • Emotional Abuse? (VAWA).
    • This scenario could be considered emotional abuse if it has been frequent and involves harassment and intimidation. Gather as much evidence as you can of her threats to include with your form I-360 VAWA application. This will allow you to apply for a green card without your wife’s help.
  • Wife Committing Immigration Fraud For Money!
    • There are so many people that believe the immigration fraud is only committed by the immigrant. That is not true! There are many US citizens that offer to marry someone in exchange for money. Sometimes this agreed on by both sides but many times the immigrant has no idea until the arrive in the US and are threatened with deportation or cancelation of their green card if they don’t pay up.
  • Report Her to USCIS (with Evidence).
    • Yes, you can report a US citizen to USCIS! Let them know of the threats and deception. If you are going to file for VAWA this may help your case. Be careful though, if you mention that you wife asked you for money, USCIS may think you were in on this fraud too.
  • If She Pulls I-864, You May Be Denied.
    • Unfortunately, if the I-864 affidavit of support is revoked, it may cause your green card application to be denied. This is because your case is pending until you have the green card in hard. USCIS can change the approval decision based on new information. There isn’t much you can do to stop your wife from canceling the I-864 but you can provide evidence of the emotional abuse and threats to USCIS to explain the situation. Ultimately, this evidence may not help you get your green card but it may help you self-petition at a later date.

Finally, it’s really hard to know who you are marrying if you haven’t dated for long. I’m not sure how long they were together before getting married, but it’s important to trust this person.

Remember, your spouse cannot deport you!

No matter how they threaten your immigration status they are not the ones that make the final decision about removal orders.

Additionally, be sure that you have enough evidence to show that you married in good faith just incase they claim you committed immigration fraud.

Lastly, if your case is very complicated and you are worried about your green card being denied, I recommend hiring an experience immigration attorney to help you fight for your green card.

I know immigration lawyers are expensive, but sometimes it is worth it if you are in a bad situation such as the one above.

If you have a difficult immigration problem you’d like feedback on, send me an email and I’ll do my best to give you the honest truth.

What would you do in this situation? Leave a comment with your suggestions!

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