My ex-husband married me just to get his green card. Now he is a U.S. citizen. Can I do anything about this abuse? I married my ex-husband in the Dominican Republic and brought him to the United States. By the time he immigrated, we had already been married two years, so immigration gave him a permanent green card.
He arrived here in October 2007 and when his green card came in the mail in February 2008, he left me. I feel so used, thinking that he was just looking to get his papers. I reported him to Immigration, but nothing happened. I divorced him, but nevertheless he became a U.S. citizen. I really feel hurt, knowing that somebody that I really loved used me for a green card.
Name withheld, New York
A. I’m very sorry your ex-husband treated you so badly, but you can do little about it. Last week, I wrote about the spouse of a U.S. citizen who forged a signature to get his permanent green card. That person might get deported. But here, your husband didn’t lie to the government, he lied only to you. You say you loved him. I assume you lived together as husband and wife. You thought the marriage was real, even if he was just using you to get papers. With facts like those, federal authorities will have little chance of prosecuting or deporting him.
Q. I have been a U.S. permanent resident since July 30, 2011. When can I apply to become a U.S. citizen?
Rowena de Vera, Houston
A. You may apply to become a U.S. citizen 90 days before you have five years of permanent residence. If you qualify under the special rules for the spouse of a U.S. citizen, you can apply 90 days before you have three years of permanent residence. Under the five-year rules, you may apply on May 1, 2016. Under the three-year rules, you have been eligible since May 1, 2014.
Readers considering naturalizing should check out the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service early filing calculator.