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How Can I Remove the Conditions on My Green Card?

 Posted on April 13, 2023 in Immigration

orlando immigration lawyerImmigrants who receive authorization to live in the United States permanently will be issued a Permanent Resident Card, which is commonly known as a Green Card. However, in some cases, these Green Cards may be conditional, and they will be valid for two years. Immigrants who have received conditional Green Cards will need to take certain steps prior to the date that their conditional permanent resident status expires, and if they fail to do so, immigration officials may begin deportation proceedings. If you are an immigrant in the United States with a conditional Green Card, or if you are married to a person with conditional permanent resident status, you will need to understand how you can remove these conditions and secure permanent residency.

Removing the Conditions on Permanent Residence

Conditional Green Cards are typically issued in family-based immigration cases where spouses have been married for less than two years. If a U.S. citizen has been married to a foreign spouse for less than two years, they may apply for a CR-1 visa. If a couple has not yet been married, they may apply for a K-1 fiancé visa that will allow the foreign partner to enter the United States, and the couple may then get married within 90 days.

In these situations, when a person receives an immigrant visa or an adjustment of status, their Green Card will be valid for two years. Within 90 days before the expiration of their Green Card, they must apply to remove the conditions on permanent residence. This can be done by filing Form I-751 with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Requirements to Remove Conditions on a Green Card

Most of the time, a couple will file Form I-751 jointly, and if they are still legally married, the request to remove conditions on a person's Green Card will be approved. To show that they entered into their marriage in good faith, the couple may need to provide supporting documents showing that they are still married and living together. These may include joint tax returns, joint bank account statements, lease or mortgage agreements, or birth certificates for children born after they were married.

If a couple is no longer married, a person may still be eligible to remove the conditions on their Green Card based on one of the following criteria:

  • Death of the U.S. citizen spouse - If a couple got married in good faith, but one spouse died within the first two years of the marriage, the other spouse may file Form I-751 on their own. They will need to provide evidence of the death of the other spouse, such as a death certificate.

  • Divorce - If a couple's marriage ended within two years, the foreign ex-spouse may be able to apply for removal of the conditions on their Green Card without the other party. In addition to providing evidence of the termination of the marriage, such as a divorce decree, the applicant may need to provide evidence that the marriage was genuine.

  • Domestic abuse - If an immigrant spouse or their child was subject to physical abuse or other extremely cruel treatment by their U.S. citizen spouse, they may file form I-751 separately from their spouse or ex-spouse. If necessary, a person may apply for protection under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). Evidence of abuse may need to be provided, and it may include copies of police reports or an Order of Protection.

  • Extreme hardship - If a person can demonstrate that the loss of permanent resident status and the requirement to leave the United States would result in hardship beyond what would typically affect other immigrants who are deported from the country, they may be able to continue living in the U.S. Evidence of extreme hardship must be related to factors that affected a person or their family members during the two-year period that they had conditional permanent resident status.

Contact an Orange County Green Card Lawyer

Navigating the immigration process can be challenging, and immigrants, their spouses, and other family members will need to understand the steps to take to maintain legal status in the U.S. If you have questions about how to remove the conditions on a Green Card, the Orlando immigration attorneys at Vasquez Law Firm, PLLC can provide the legal help you need. We will work with you to prepare and submit the proper forms and supporting documents. To learn more about how we can help with these and other immigration issues, contact us at 407-955-5000 and set up a free consultation today.




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