The Purpose Behind the Conditional U.S. Green Card

If you are a foreigner who has been married to a U.S. citizen for less than two years when you arrived in the United States on an immigrant visa you will most likely receive a conditional resident green card. (For example: every individual who gains entry into the U.S. on a K-1 Fiancé visa and adjusts status will start their new life in the U.S. as a conditional resident.

The Design for Conditional Residence

As in any marriage-based visa application for a green card, the immigration authorities will examine every marriage thoroughly to ensure that it is genuine. Immigration officers reviewing every case will ensure that a marriage is not a sham and that there are no intentions to evade U.S. immigration.

Simply because there was a major concern with recent marriages being shams the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) was authorized to analyze the validity of marriages. Each immigrant who has not been married to a U.S. citizen for more than two years is allotted a conditional resident status which is not a permanent resident.

In most instances, a conditional resident has the same legal rights as a lawful permanent resident. That person can work in the U.S. and travel in and out of the country and can start looking forward to applying for U.S. citizenship. Talk with an immigration lawyer about travelling overseas while on a conditional resident status. Time as a conditional resident can count as a permanent resident for purposes of applying for naturalization, granted that the conditional resident is someday approved for permanent residency.

The key difference is that conditional residency expires in two years’ time. Right before the expiration date, the immigrant will need to apply for conditions to be removed. Part of that application process will entail that the applicant proves that their marriage is real by supplying supporting documentation. Additionally, every married couple must establish a life together in the U.S. If a marriage has ended a few months after arriving in the U.S. there are only certain exceptions available that could allow a foreigner to obtain lawful permanent residency.

Applying to Remove Conditions on Residence

To remove the conditions on residence, the applicant and the U.S. citizen spouse will need to submit a joint petition on Form I-751 to USCIS. Note that the timing for filing a petition is very important along with the required supporting documents to demonstrate that the marriage is real and ongoing.

After USCIS has received the Form I-751, Application to Remove Conditions on Residence, it will review the petition and may decide to interview both spouses separately to examine the case meticulously to ensure that the marriage is authentic. If USCIS decides that the marriage is fake, the applicant will lose his/her legal immigration status and will be deported. If a marriage has ended because of a divorce or death, there is a possibility, under particular instances where the foreigner can apply for a waiver and file supporting evidence of the petition requirement. The applicant can then submit the petition alone.

Ask an Immigration Representative to Help You

Are you seeking to remove conditions on your residency and you are not sure where to start? Well look no more, contact Gambacorta Law Office today at 847 433 9303 and our team will save you the hassle of having to do all the work all by yourself.