Because there is a fear that a person may marry a U.S. citizen or green card holder to evade immigration laws, permanent residence status is conditional when a foreign resident marries a U.S. citizen or green card holder.
Are All Marriages Conditional?
If you have been married for less than two years on the day you were given permanent residence, your status as a permanent resident will be conditional. The day permanent residence status is granted will either be the day you are lawfully admitted into the United States or when you adjust your immigration status.
What Is Needed to Remove the Condition?
To remove the conditional status on your permanent residency, you and your spouse will have to apply during the 90 days before your second anniversary as a conditional resident, which happens to be the expiration date on your green card.
What if I Am No Longer Married?
Generally, if you are no longer married, you can request a waiver of the joint filing provision. This includes:
- If you are a widow or widower of a marriage that was entered into in good faith
- If you are divorced, so long as the marriage was entered into in good faith
- If you or your child were battered or subject to extreme hardship by your spouse
What Will Happen if I Fail to Remove My Conditional Status?
If the termination of your conditional resident status would cause extreme hardship to you, you may be exempt from this rule. However, if you fail to remove your conditional status, you risk losing your status and may face deportation. If you were late in requesting the conditional status removal, you are permitted to explain why you complied with the requirements at a deportation hearing.
Do I Need a Lawyer?
An attorney experienced in immigration law can help you and your spouse prepare for the removal of your conditional resident status. If you are no longer married, or you failed to remove your conditional status when required, an immigration attorney can help you navigate the exceptions to the immigration laws and regulations.