Removal of Conditions on Conditional Permanent Residency
If you obtained your Permanent Residency through marriage, prior to your 2nd year wedding anniversary, your Permanent Residence status will be conditional for two years. This means that although you will have the same rights to live and work in the United States as other permanent residents, you are a “Conditional Permanent Resident (CPR) and you must file a Petition (Form I-751) to remove the conditional basis of your Permanent Residency within 90 days of your Conditional Permanent Resident Card expiring. If you do not file the Petition within the deadline, USCIS may automatically terminate your Conditional Permanent Resident status and issue you a Notice to Appear (NTA).
It is therefore critical that you file the petition in a timely manner and as per the USCIS requirements in order to remove the conditions and get a Permanent Green Card which is valid for 10-year renewable periods.
As per the USCIS requirements, you must file the Petition for Removal of Conditions jointly with your spouse and the Petition must include evidence from the date of marriage to the date of filing of the Form I-751 to clearly establish that your marriage was in good faith and not for the sole purpose of obtaining Permanent Resident status. Evidence to show a good faith marriage may include but is not limited to:
- Birth certificates for children of the Conditional Permanent Resident and spouse;
- Joint Tax Returns
- Joint Bank Accounts and Credit cards
- Joint Leases or Joint Mortgages
- Joint Utility Bills
- Joint Medical Insurance
- Joint Auto Insurance
- Life Insurance Policy naming the other spouse as a Beneficiary/covered person;
- Photographs of Conditional Permanent Resident and Spouse on vacations or trips together since marriage to present date, along with travel tickets, hotel bills and other evidence of travel together etc.
- Affidavits from friends, family members, and neighbors regarding the validity of the marriage and relationship
Waiver of Requirement to File Jointly
You may request a waiver of the joint filing requirement if you qualify under one or more of the following categories:
Death of Spouse - Your marriage was entered into in good faith but your spouse has since expired. You will have to provide a copy of the death certificate along with evidence that the marriage was originally entered into in good faith at the time of filing Form I-751.
Divorce - Your marriage was entered into in good faith, but your marriage has since been terminated by annulment or divorce. You will have to provide a copy of the annulment or divorce decree along with evidence that the marriage was originally entered into in good faith at the time of filing Form I-751.
Physically Abused – You have been battered or subjected to abuse by your spouse. You will have to provide evidence of the abuse such as police, court and medical records along with evidence that the marriage was originally entered into in good faith.
Extreme Hardship - You would suffer extreme hardship if the joint filing requirement is not waived and their permanent resident status is terminated.
Extension of Work & Travel Permit
If you file Form I-751 on time, your receipt notice will extend the validity of your conditional permanent resident status for 18 months which will enable you to continue working and to travel outside the U.S.. If your Form I-751 is still pending and you need evidence of your status after the initial 18-month extension, you must call the USCIS Contact Center at 800-375-5283 to schedule an InfoPass appointment with your local USCIS field office to get an I-551 stamp. The I-551 stamp will serve as temporary evidence for those who are in the process of renewing or replacing their Green Cards. The I-551 stamp will serve as evidence that they are authorized to live and work in the United States and to travel outside the U.S. while the Form I-751 is pending.
Removal of Conditions for Children
If your child is a Conditional Permanent Resident, he/she may be eligible to be included on your petition if the child’s Permanent Resident status was received on the same day as yours, or within 90 days after you received conditional status. If not, your child must file his/her own Petition for removal of Conditions with his/her stepparent.
Once the Form I-751 petition has been filed, USCIS may require you to attend an interview to determine eligibility for removal of conditions on your Conditional Permanent Resident status.
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It is important that you work with an experienced Attorney to file your Petition for Removal of Conditions on Conditional Permanent Residency as per the USCIS requirements and along with the necessary evidence.
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