I Can Help You Seek A Removal Of Conditions
A person’s permanent residence status is conditional if it is based on a marriage that took place less than two years from the day they were given permanent residence. Conditional permanent residence is also given on the day a person is lawfully admitted to the United States on an immigrant visa. By definition, a conditional visa will require the petitioner to apply for the removal of conditions.
The reason the resident status is conditional is that the US Government wants proof that the marriage is a lawful and legitimate and not just an effort to get around the immigration laws. The main goal for a person going through this process is to be given the privilege of living and working in the United States permanently.
There Are Strict Rules To Follow For The Removal of Conditions
The I-751 form must be filed (for removal of conditions) within the 90 days prior to the expiration date on your permanent residence card. If it is not filed before this date then your conditional residence expires which you don’t want. It is possible to file for removal of conditions if you and your spouse are outside the United States on orders of the U.S. Government during the period in which the petition must be filed, but you must do so within 90 days of your return to the United States. Equally important to filing within your expiration date, it is very important to not file for removal of conditions before your 90 day window. It is likely that you will get your application sent back to you. Finally, it is important to note that the USCIS will not send out a second reminder to conditional residents to petition for the removal of conditions.
If you fail to properly file your petition to remove the conditions on residence (the Form I-751) within the 90-day period prior to the second anniversary date as a conditional United States resident, your conditional resident status will automatically be terminated and the USCIS will order removal proceedings against you. As a result of failing to properly apply for removal of conditions, you will receive a notice from USCIS stating such and you will also receive a notice to appear at a hearing. At the hearing, you will be afforded the opportunity to review and rebut the evidence against you, but your main purpose is to prove that you complied with the requirements. This is important since the USCIS has already terminated your conditional residency. Do not let this happen and properly prepare to apply for removal of conditions.
Understand The Paperwork You Will Need To Complete For Your Case
The form I-751 is the form that will need to be filed jointly for a conditional resident who obtained status through marriage and needs to apply for removal of conditions on their residence. Further steps in the process of filing for the removal of conditions with the I-751 include the applicant filing with the spouse to whom he or she got the conditional green card. There are special circumstances that exist with every removal of conditions immigration case and every case is different. Filing jointly, however, may be waived under special circumstances. The circumstances for a joint filing of an I-751 to be waived are:
- The marriage that was entered in good faith was terminated through divorce or annulment
- The sponsoring spouse is no longer alive
- The petitioner will face extreme hardship if he or she is removed from the United States
- The petitioner has been battered and/or faced extreme cruelty from the spouse.
The I-751 application for removal of conditions will need the necessary supporting documents and fees to be filed at the appropriate USCIS service center.
Your Marital Relationship Is Highly Important When Applying For The Removal of Conditions
As discussed above, it is critical the petitioner applying for removal of conditions on their conditional visa, present evidence of their bona fide marital relationship. A variety of documentation may be submitted to support the claim of a lawful marriage. Below is a list of document types that may be used as proof of the marriage. Not all of them are required, but in your preparations in applying for removal of conditions and in working with an immigration attorney, if you choose to use one, you should look at all the options and documentation you have in order to make the process run smoothly. Other alternatives such as providing affidavits from people who know you and your spouse as a couple may become part of your proof of marital status.
- A copy of your joint tax returns. Tax transcripts from the IRS are still the preferred method.
- Titles to property and/or car showing joint ownership with your spouse.
- Birth certificate of any children that have been born to your marriage.
- Bank or stock accounts with both of your names on them.
- 401K, IRA, or any other retirement vehicle with your spouse listed as a beneficiary.
- A property lease agreement with both of your names on the lease.
- Copies of any joint cards you have together with your spouse showing the same account number and or billing statement; credit cards, health insurance cards, or other “joint” cards that you have together.
- Car, health, or life insurance that has both of your names on the policy or the other spouse listed as the beneficiary.
- Utility bills, credit card bills and other types of bills which have both of your names on them.
- Documentation of any vacations that you have taken, including flight itineraries, hotel bills, pictures of you together on vacation.
- Documentary proof showing evidence of your children together (copy of birth certificate, photos, etc).
- Other family pictures of you together.
Removal of Conditions (I-751) cases are generally completed in 24 months, currently. Once you receive the 10-year green card, it should be renewed every 10 years, if you do not become a U.S. citizen in the interim.
Connect With Me Today To Get Started
At Escalante Law, I know and appreciate that every immigration case is different. My commitment to personal, one-on-one representation is the cornerstone of my firm’s success. To find out more about how to file for removal of conditions, and the steps to file Form I-751, contact me at 720-896-3989, or send me a brief email describing your situation.