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Understanding Removal of Conditions

The journey doesn’t always end with obtaining a visa or residency status. For many individuals, particularly those in the United States, there may come a time when they need to navigate the process of removing conditions attached to their residency. Whether it’s a conditional green card or another form of temporary status, understanding how to remove these conditions is crucial for maintaining legal status and building a stable future. In this blog, we’ll delve into what removing conditions entails, the steps involved, and some key considerations along the way.

Understanding Conditional Residency

Conditional residency refers to a temporary immigration status granted to certain individuals, typically spouses of U.S. citizens or permanent residents, who have been approved for lawful permanent residency (a green card) based on their marriage. Instead of receiving a permanent green card outright, these individuals are granted conditional residency, which is valid for a period of two years.

The conditional status is intended to ensure that the marriage is genuine and not solely for immigration purposes. It is a way for immigration authorities to prevent marriage fraud, where individuals may enter into marriages solely to obtain immigration benefits.

During the two-year conditional residency period, individuals must continue to live with their spouse and maintain a bona fide marital relationship. They are also required to file a joint petition to remove the conditions on their residency within the 90-day period before the expiration date of their conditional green card.

The Removal Process

Removing conditions on residency involves filing Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence, with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This form must be submitted jointly by the individual and their spouse within the 90-day period before the conditional green card expires. However, there are exceptions for individuals who are no longer married to their U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse due to divorce or death.

Documentary Evidence

Along with Form I-751, applicants must provide evidence to demonstrate that their marriage is genuine and was entered into in good faith. This evidence may include joint bank account statements, utility bills in both names, photographs together, affidavits from family and friends, and any other documentation that illustrates the authenticity of the relationship.

Conditional Green Card Waiver

In cases where the marriage has ended due to divorce or the death of the U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse, the conditional resident may still be eligible to apply for a waiver of the joint filing requirement. This involves filing Form I-751 with a request for a waiver based on divorce or the death of the spouse, along with supporting evidence.

Interview and Decision

After submitting the petition and supporting documents, applicants may be required to attend an interview with USCIS. During the interview, immigration officials may ask questions to verify the authenticity of the marriage. If the petition is approved, the conditional status will be removed, and the individual will receive a 10-year green card.

Key Considerations

  • Start the process early: It’s essential to begin the removal of conditions process well before the expiration date of the conditional green card to avoid any lapses in legal status.
  • Seek legal guidance: Immigration law can be complex, and having the assistance of an experienced immigration attorney can help navigate the process smoothly.
  • Maintain documentation: Throughout the marriage and residency period, it’s crucial to keep thorough records of joint activities, financial accounts, and other evidence that may be required for the removal of conditions application.

Get Started Today

Removing conditions on residency is a significant step in the immigration journey for many individuals. Whether it’s through a joint petition with a spouse or a waiver based on divorce or the death of a spouse, the removal of conditions opens doors to long-term stability and opportunity in a new home. Need help? Contact our immigration firm today.

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The content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Readers should not act upon any information presented on this blog without seeking professional legal counsel. The opinions expressed at or through this blog are the opinions of the individual author and may not reflect the opinions of the firm or any individual attorney. Please consult with an attorney regarding your specific legal situation.

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