How Long After Citizenship Can You Divorce (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 5 Years

Divorce is a systematic and legal procedure of terminating or canceling the marital bonds between two people. Divorce can prove to play a big role in the marriage of people who have immigrated to different lands as getting a divorce would also mean sometimes their citizenship status could be at risk.

The confirmation of citizenship is so important that some people, rather than getting a divorce and legally ending their marriage, just choose to live separately and keep the marriage intact legally as to not harm any of the citizenship-related processes until they get the permanent citizenship, that is after 3 to 5 years.

How Long After Citizenship Can You Divorce


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How Long After Citizenship Can You Divorce?

The process of divorce between two people and their conditions of citizenship depends on a lot of factors, such as how long the citizenship process are they in, and the conditions of their spouse, etc.

If the divorce is taking place while the green card application is still running, the process of getting permanent citizenship will stop. To complete the green card or the permanent citizenship process, the two people would still have to stay married till the process is complete.

The citizenship status about divorce is only very important in America, where somehow, a green card holder does not get much affected by the divorce. If the person has a ten-year green card already, the marital status would not affect them or their citizenship in any way as the green card would not be revoked until they commit some crime or fraud. After the 10 years of green card, there is only the application for renewing or replace the green card, which does not contain any questions related to the marital status or divorce of the person, and hence, there is no threat to the citizenship.

However, if the green card was given on the grounds of marriage, the government issues a two-year conditional green card. During this two-year process, the government would monitor and judge the marriage and if it is a legitimate marriage and not a fraud. During this period, the two people must live together and not get a divorce as this would revoke the conditional green card, which would scrape one person off the citizenship.  

Condition Of CitizenshipDoes Divorce Affect Citizenship
Before MarriageNo
Based On MarriageTwo-Year Green Card, If The Marriage Is Legitimate

Why Can I Divorce After 5 Years of Citizenship?

The main relationship between citizenship and divorce is on what grounds was the marriage based on. If the person already has a ten-year green card, then getting a divorce would not affect anything in their life or citizenship. However, if the person has gotten citizenship on the grounds of marriage, then they would have gotten a conditional two-year citizenship green card, wherein the two years process would have the government review their marriage and judge if it was based on moral grounds or not. During these two years, the married couple needs to live together and not get a divorce before their citizenship, or else the process would stop and they would not get citizenship.

 If a person is filing for citizenship naturalization based on their marriage, they must not get divorced before the process is fulfilled and they get their citizenship. Even if the couple had been married for three years before the naturalization process, they must still be married when the process is going on, or else the divorce would stop the process of citizenship.

However, the person would still be eligible for applying through the basis of five years of permanent resident, wherein they would not be judged based on their marital status as they are not making their marriage the basis of getting citizenship. There could be ways the divorce would affect the citizenship process but it only happens when the person makes their marriage the basis for their citizenship or gets the citizenship through the name of their marriage.


Divorce is a systematic and legal procedure that revokes the bond of marriage between two people. In a way, divorce affects the citizenship of a country, if the person has applied for or gotten their citizenship based on their marriage. If a person already has a ten-year green card of a particular country, there is a very high possibility that the divorce would not affect their citizenship in any way However, if a person has gotten a green card through their marriage, they would be on a two-year conditional green card wherein the government would monitor their marriage and judge if it is legitimate, and they should not get divorced during the process as it would end up shutting down and they would not get the citizenship.  



Last Updated : 23 February, 2024

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