Someone who is approved to become a permanent resident or to receive a Green Card receives a card that is valid for 10 years, most Green Cards are valid for 10 years.
People who are adjusting their immigration status by marriage and have been married for less than 2 years, at the time of approval they will receive a conditional residency, which will be a 2-year card.
There is another step required to remove the conditions on the Green Card, which is another paperwork that must be sent to immigration before the Green Card expires for 2 years, proving that you are still together with your spouse.
There are also pardons available for such cases if you have been divorced, suffered abuse in the marriage or if your spouse is deceased.
There are ways to remove conditions even if the couple is no longer living together, but the most common way is to send more evidence of a shared life between the couple.
How Can I Remove My Green Card Conditions?
If the couple is still living together, they will need to send in the form I-751 to the immigration agency before the card expires with more evidence of the last 2 years.
You don’t have to re-submit the evidence you submitted to gain permanent residency.
Proof of a mortgage, rental agreement, bank accounts, phone card bills, and letters from your friends are needed.
These are types of evidence that you have to submit to prove that this is a bona fide marriage.
Everyone has to send this type of evidence before their interview to win their permanent residency, you don’t have to repeat that same evidence because it is already included in your file, but after the 2 years of waiting during your conditional residency, it is a good idea to gather recent evidence of your life with your partner as a whole.
Do I Lose My Status If I Request Removal Of Conditions?
According to a law that the former President Trump announced, all conditional residents requesting removal of their conditions on their residency have to appear for an interview with immigration even if there is enough evidence to prove their case.
This law delayed the process for all immigrants who were applying for removal, we have seen in the last 2 or 3 years await only for the decision on the removal of conditions many people have not received a decision in their cases but may apply for citizenship because you only have to wait 3 years to qualify for naturalization.
The change is that not everyone is going to have to show up for an interview.
The process has been that when a person applies for removal of their conditions, everyone who submits a case to immigration with a fee payment will receive a receipt for their case number.
Receivers in this type of case have had an automatic extension of conditional residency during the processing or waiting time for approval.
How Difficult Is It To Remove My Green Card Conditions?
This is not a difficult thing to do if the couple has kept copies of evidence of their shared life.
At Lincoln-Goldfinch Law we don’t have a condition removal case that we have lost, including waivers, as they are a bit more difficult.
What happens is that if not enough evidence is turned over, they are certainly going to have to appear for an interview, and sometimes they separate the couple to ask them private questions, then, the process can be a little tougher but in the end of the day if they are not a marriage of fraud, it’s something that can be earned to get the waivers.
Types Of Waivers
The two most common waivers are for people who have suffered mistreatment, abuse, or cruelty in the marriage, for us it is a very common case because we have many clients who have separated or want to separate from their partner, maybe they live together or there are problems in the relationship.
Perhaps the petitioner who is the american citizen doesn’t want to help the permanent resident, doesn’t want to help with the case, or doesn’t want to be involved.
There is a way in which a conditional resident, who can be male or female, can apply for permanent residency without the help of their partner if they have suffered cruelty in the marriage, that is a type of waiver.
The other most common type is when the couple has divorced, the requirement is to have a final divorce to qualify under that type of waiver.
In this type of case it’s necessary to serve the divorce decree, but you also have to prove that it was a bona fide marriage before the divorce.
It is necessary to submit evidence from conditional residency to separation, let’s say someone received conditional residency 1 year ago and now a year has passed in their 2 years of residency and this person has plans to divorce, it would be necessary to gather evidence from the last year to have that evidence ready and submit it with the divorce decree to prove it was a bona fide marriage.
This shows that you did not divorce your partner immediately after receiving residency and that it was not a marriage that took place just to obtain residency status.
If you gather the divorce decree, evidence from that year showing that you were joined with your partner, you may qualify for this waiver, these things are not impossible or unlikely, but it is always necessary to have enough evidence to win your case with immigration in these types of cases.
What Happens If I Do Not Request Removal Of Conditions?
There is a way to apply after the card has expired, but you must explain the reason for not applying on time, you must have a good reason.
What can happen if you do nothing is that the immigration agency could start a process to take away your conditional residency, a status that you can lose if you don’t take action.
Is There Any Way To Avoid The Conditions On A Green Card?
This is 100% based on the time of marriage, if it has been more than 2 years the beneficiary will receive a normal residency, if the marriage was less than 2 years, it will be a conditional residency.
One strategy we have used in the past is when we consult with a couple who have been living together for years, maybe they have children but have not been married in a church, and they do not have a marriage license.
If they live in Texas, we have the common law marriage, and a benefit of that type of marriage is that the couple can go to the county office, announce that they are married, and can choose the start date of their marriage.
If you have been living together for 5 years, you can choose the date 5 years ago.
There is one aspect where you have to be careful when a couple is married, they have to file their taxes together, so if they choose a date 2 years ago and they didn’t do their taxes together, it’s going to be necessary to do these taxes.
If we are consulting a couple in November, for example, they can choose January 1st of that year.
If the couple did not do their taxes together the previous year, they could choose the January date of that year and then submit their application, it normally takes 1 year for the case to be processed.
Sometimes it’s worth doing all those things because remember that that step of removal of conditions even if it costs money, you have to gather your evidence, you have to turn over your immigration documents, it’s not something very complicated, it’s something that we can do for everybody, and it’s easy to win the case.
It is worth just getting married, applying, and seeing how long the adjustment of the status process takes.
Can We Try To Get A Green Card If We Get Divorced & Get Back Together?
Yes, they can apply, it is not that uncommon for a couple to have had a divorce and then want to resume that marriage again.
This couple could apply for permanent residency and probably they will not have to prove the reason for their divorce, they can tell the truth, they can say that they have problems and that is why they decided to separate and now they want to get back together, there is no need to give immigration more details.
Recommended Time To Remove Green Card Conditions
It would be good to deliver the 90 days before the card expires, between 0 and 90 days.
If possible, avoid calling days or a week in advance to eliminate the conditions of your Green Card, to give us the time to prepare your case and make it a well-done case.
Time is quite important in all cases with immigration, as we need it in order not to work in a hurry and to have the opportunity to win your case and send everything without errors.
In case you have additional questions about your Green Card, renewal, or your specific case, you can contact us at (855) 502-0555. After a short 10-minute evaluation of your case over the phone, we will let you know what options you have. You can also follow us on our social networks so you won’t miss our weekly broadcasts via Facebook, YouTube & Twitch.