Thursday, January 8, 2009
Immigration and Divorce
There are many areas of law that are tied to family law, most common are bankruptcy, real estate and immigration. I am by no means an expert in immigration law, but often times I am asked about whether not an H-4 Visa is valid during and after a divorce. An H-4 visa is a dependent/spouse Visa that is issued when your spouse has a H-1B Visa. You cannot work with an H-4 visa but you are allowed to remain in the United States with your spouse. The H-4 visa is valid until it expires, and will also terminate when your divorce is finalized. It will remain in effect during your separation period, but upon your final divorce decree, it will terminate. Therefore, you must file paperwork to change your status and request a new visa with a new classification before the finalization of your divorce. If you do not do this, you can possibly be deported or required to leave the country on your own accord. If you are concerned about immigration issues in your divorce, I highly suggest that you meet with an experienced immigration attorney before starting the divorce process, or in the alternative, hire an attorney who is knowledgeable in the area of immigration.