Many immigrants living in the United States want to become citizens or permanent residents. There are a variety of ways to obtain a green card, including marrying a United States citizen. Someone who enters the country to be with a fiancé or spouse can obtain a green card because of their relationship, accordingly.
However, they will be granted a conditional green card. They will not have a full 10 years to stay in the country like other lawful permanent residents until they take specific steps. How does someone remove the conditional status from a green card obtained through marriage?
They must file the right paperwork
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) requires that those who enter the country through marriage file paperwork sooner than other permanent residents. The average permanent resident only has to submit documents every 10 years.
Someone with a conditional green card will have to submit Form I-75 and pay certain fees two years after obtaining their green card. They will typically need to remain in compliance with all laws and immigration requirements until those two years pass. They also need to remain married or risk being unable to obtain a standard green card without conditions attached.
There are, of course, a few exceptions to these rules that may benefit those leaving an abusive marriage or who experience criminal activity committed by their spouses. Most people who qualify for a conditional green card through marriage will be able to remove the conditions on their green cards after two years and will then have the same rights and freedoms as any other permanent resident.
Learning more about the different rules that apply to people in different immigration situations may help those who enter the country through marriage remain here permanently. Seeking legal guidance is a good way to get started.