In cases where resident status (green card) is acquired based on a marriage to a U.S. citizen that was less than 2 years old on the day the immigrant spouse was approved, then the immigrant is approved for lawful conditional status (or a 2 year green card). The immigrant’s status is conditional because two years after acquiring permanent resident status, the immigrant and his/her U.S. citizen spouse will be required to present evidence (and possibility have an interview in front of an officer) to prove their marriage is good faith based on love and not for the purpose of gaining an immigration benefit. The process of removing conditions from a 2-year green card give the Department of Homeland Security a second opportunity to exam the marital relationship to confirm the immigrant and his/her spouse continue to live together, hold joint assets and share joint bills.
How to Apply to Remove the Conditions?
The immigrant and their U.S. citizen spouse must apply together to remove the conditions on a 2-year green card. The immigrant must apply jointly with his/her spouse 90 days before the green card expires. The expiration date on the green card is also the date of the immigrant’s second anniversary as a conditional resident. If the immigrant does not apply to remove the conditions in time, he/she will lose conditional resident status and removal/deportation proceeding will be initiated in immigration court. It is advised to seek the advise of an immigration attorney when preparing the application to remove conditions as there are specific requirements that must be met.
What if I am no longer married to my spouse?
If you the immigrant is longer married to the U.S. citizen spouse but the marriage was entered into by good-faith, or if he/she has been battered or abused by the U.S. citizen spouse, or if immigrant would suffer extreme hardship if not given a 10 year green card, then a waiver may be filed. In such cases, you may apply on your own (without spouse signature) to remove the conditions on your residency (green card).
What happens if I file late to remove conditions?
If you fail to properly file Form I-751 within the 90-day period before your second anniversary as a conditional resident: (1) Your conditional resident status will automatically be terminated and we will begin removal proceedings against you, (2) You will receive a notice from us telling you that you have failed to remove the conditions, (3) You will receive a Notice to Appear at a hearing. At the hearing you may review and rebut the evidence against you.
Will Immigration require another interview?
An interview may be required to demonstrate eligibility to remove the conditions on your residence. If an interview is required you will receive an appointment notice telling you when and where to appear for your interview.