You married a U.S. citizen and got a two-year conditional green card. Now what?
To maintain your permanent residency status, your next hurdle in the US immigration process is the Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Permanent Residence. The Immigration Marriage Fraud Amendments of 1986 to the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) established the conditional residency provisions. The purpose of the I-751 is to stop marriage fraud and to ensure that your marriage is “real” and not simply for immigration benefits.
At first glance, Form I-751 appears rather simple. But the entire process of removing the conditions on your permanent residency is filled with traps that only a skilled green card attorney can help you avoid. The denial of your I-751 could result in deportation or removal. The stakes are high. Call attorney Joshua Goldstein today if you need help with removing conditional residency from your green card in Boston.
Why are Some Green Cards Only Valid for Two Years?
People who have not been married for at least two years at the time of applying for permanent residency receive two-year conditional residency and not a ten-year green card. If the marriage has been in existence for over 2 years at the time of the I-485 approval, then the foreign national spouse obtains permanent resident status without any conditions. A lawyer in Boston could help conditional residents with this process during green card renewal.
Requirements for I-751 Approval
To successfully petition to remove the conditions on your permanent residency status, you must submit evidence to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) that your marriage is viable and legitimate through joint bank statement, leases, driver’s licenses, joint income tax returns, and other evidence of a shared life. Ultimately, you and your spouse may be subjected to a difficult interview at USCIS before an immigration officer. Do not go to this interview without legal representation.
At Goldstein Immigration Lawyers, our Boston attorneys have the skills, resources, and knowledge of US immigration law to provide you with effective representation at your interview to have conditional residency removed from your green card.
Joint Filing Requirements for Green Card Renewal
Form I-751 must be submitted jointly by you and your spouse. Ideally, you remain happily married and this requirement is no problem. If you and your spouse are still married but are separated or, for some reason, not getting along, you have a serious problem. Fortunately, our team has a solution. The laws permit a waiver of the joint filing requirement to remove conditional residency in several limited circumstances.
Conditional residents may request a waiver of the requirement that spouses file Form I-751 jointly. This waiver is filed on the same Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence. Although additional forms are required, the process of removing conditional residency on a green card is considerably more complicated and the assistance of an effective Boston lawyer is even more important. To qualify for the self-petition waiver, conditional residents must show one of the following:
- Waiver Based on Death: The conditional resident’s US citizen spouse has died
- Waiver Based on Divorce: The marriage was entered into in good faith but ended by divorce or annulment
- Waiver Based on Extreme Cruelty: The marriage was entered into in good faith but the conditional resident’s spouse subjected the conditional resident to battery or extreme cruelty
- Waiver based on Extreme Hardship: Termination of the conditional resident’s status would cause extreme hardship.
Contact a Boston Attorney for Help with Converting a Conditional Green Card
If you want to successfully obtain a waiver and to petition to remove conditional residency on your green card in Boston, answer a few questions by clicking the button below, and schedule a time with our team.