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Removing conditions on two-year Green Card

The conditional Green Card is a permanent resident card that is issued to a spouse of a United States citizen if the marriage is less than two years. The couple is expected to jointly file Form I-751, petition to remove the condition 90 days prior to the end of the two-year period. The couple is expected to provide evidence that the marriage is a good faith marriage. The conditional Green Card cannot be renewed. The couple can only apply for the conditions to be removed. In order to establish good faith marriage, they will need to show:

a)Birth certificates of children born to the marriage;

b)Lease or mortgage agreement showing joint residence or ownership of communal residence;

c)Financial records showing comingling of funds such as savings and checking accounts, Joint federal and state tax returns, Joint insurance policies;

d)Joint utility bills;

e)Affidavits of third parties having knowledge of the bona fides of the marital relationship;

f)Any other evidence to establish that the couple did not get married to evade the laws of the United States;

Failure to properly file Form I-751 within the 90-day period immediately preceding the second anniversary of the date on which the spouse obtained lawful permanent residence on a conditional basis shall result in the automatic termination of the permanent residence status and the initiation of proceedings to remove the spouse from the United States.

Very often, we come across situations where the U.S Citizen spouse refuses to cooperate with the permanent resident spouse to file jointly for removal of condition. There is respite for the conditional permanent resident spouse. He or she may ask for permission to file separately without the U.S citizen spouse. This is done by applying for waiver of the requirement to file the joint petition. The conditional permanent resident spouse must show:

a)The couple entered into the marriage in good faith, but the marriage was later terminated due to divorce or annulment or

b)The couple entered into the marriage in good faith and have remained married but the immigrant spouse has been battered or subject to extreme cruelty by the U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse or

c)The termination of the immigrants status and removal would result in extreme hardship or

d)The couple entered into the marriage in good faith, but the U.S. citizen spouse subsequently died.

The content of this article is intended for general information purposes only, and is not legal advice. Gertrude Onuoha Esq. is admitted to practice law in the state of New York and has a Master of Laws (LL.M) degree from Benjamin Cardozo School of Law in New York. She is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association.

Updated 5:07 pm, October 8, 2013:
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