Despite the divorce between The Family Chantel stars Pedro Jimeno and Chantel Jimeno (née Everett), his filing for legal separation “has no impact on his ability to apply for U.S. citizenship,” attorney Emily Davis of the Ross and Pines law firm in Atlanta tells In Touch exclusively, adding that Pedro “must wait four years and 9 months from the date of his green card issuance to apply for citizenship.”
“Just simply going through a divorce from Chantel, who is a U.S. citizen, does not mean that Pedro will face deportation,” Davis adds. “He is still legally able to remain in the United States as a lawful permanent resident. There are several ways a person can lose their green card, such as commission of certain crimes or abandoning their residency, but a lawful permanent resident with a 10-year green card generally does not lose their green card from divorce.”
In fact, as a “lawful permanent resident, Pedro can become a U.S. citizen without Chantel’s assistance,” Davis says.
“If Chantel sponsored Pedro for the green card application after the K-1 visa was granted, she is financially responsible for him” unless three different scenarios occur, Davis reveals. Those conditions include him becoming a U.S. citizen, working 40 quarters under the Social Security Act, leaving the U.S. and no longer being a permanent resident or dying.
“The form that Chantel submitted when she petitioned him to get a green card is a binding contract between Chantel and the U.S. government,” Davis says. “That contract obligates the sponsor to support the sponsored immigrant at 125 percent or more of the U.S. Poverty Guidelines. Divorce does not automatically terminate the contract.”
Pedro filed for divorce on May 27, citing their marriage being “irretrievably broken” as the reason for the legal separation and their separation date as April 27, according to the filing obtained by In Touch.
While Pedro claimed that Chantel withdrew more than $257,000 from their account and transferred their joint funds into an account in Chantel’s name and sister Winter Everett’s name, Chantel in her July 7 response alleged “adultery” and “cruel treatment” on his part, including “physical domestic violence, as well as mental pain.”
Amid his filing, a mutual restraining order was issued for the both of them, which they are now under.
When reached by In Touch, Chantel’s lawyer had no comment regarding Pedro’s initial filing, and a lawyer for Pedro did not immediately respond to In Touch‘s request for comment regarding Chantel’s claims.
The former couple, who first appeared on 90 Day Fiancé season 4 before their separate appearances on seasons 2, 3 and 4 of 90 Day Fiancé: Happily Ever After?, were married on March 25, 2016.