In most cases, when immigration benefits are conferred to an alien based on their marriage to a U.S. permanent resident, U.S. citizen, or beneficiary of an immigrant petition, the termination of that marriage (via divorce) will most likely adversely affect the pending immigration petition of the alien.
Additionally, divorce also adversely affects the legal status of an alien if he is a conditional permanent resident. This condition occurs when the alien’s conditional green card was obtained via marriage to a U.S. citizen. Divorce may also adversely affect an alien’s U.S. legal status as a non-immigrant when the alien’s non-immigrant status was based upon marriage to certain classes of other non-immigrants.
Divorce After Conditional Green Card
If an alien obtained his green card based on a marriage with a U.S. citizen spouse or green card holder, that alien will be granted conditional permanent residence. This condition only applies if the marriage took place within two years before the date permanent residence was conferred. The conditional green card means that the alien’s permanent residency can be revoked if the couple’s marriage was a sham or entered into solely for immigration purposes. Besides this condition however, the conditional green card holder has the same rights as any other green card holder. The condition may be removed within ninety days prior to the two-year anniversary of the permanent residence being granted to the alien.
If the conditional green card holder seeks a divorce from his U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident spouse, the alien will have to show that the marriage was entered into in good faith. If the condition was never removed, the alien may also show he was not at fault for his failure to file the joint petition to remove the condition. Generally speaking, when the alien with the conditional green card can show that the marriage was entered into in good faith, it is presumed that he was not at fault for failing to file a joint petition. The couple’s child together and producing evidence that the couple owned property jointly are two ways to prove that a marriage was entered into in good faith.
Statelessness is the legal and social status of a person having no state to recognize his nationality. The term is often associated with refugees and asylum requests. Conflict of Laws is that part of law which comes into play when the issue before the court affects some fact, event or transaction that is so clearly connected with a foreign system of law as to necessitate recourse to that system (Cheshire, Private International Law, 1947 ed., p.6). Simply put, these are set of laws which require the court to apply the laws of another jurisdiction, or to refer the case to that jurisdiction.
In the case at bar, Kim tried to file the divorce in Singapore but was refused for the obvious reason that she is neither a citizen of Singapore nor was their marriage registered there. She resolved to obtain a statement from the Singaporean lawyer to the effect that the Singapore courts would not recognize the petition and consequently requesting The Netherlands court to accept such. Robert did the same thing with a Thai lawyer and a Canadian lawyer. This was a logical thing to do to.