The immigration process is an emotional marathon. The road towards becoming a legal permanent resident can be filled with uncertainty and stress—primarily if you pursue a green card without an immigration attorney.
Some immigrants marry U.S. citizens and become conditional residents for two years. Conditional residency is a status given to immigrants coming to this country on a marriage visa.
Conditional Is A Trial Period
Conditional status is a step towards becoming a lawful permanent resident (green card holder). Even after you marry a U.S. citizen, the reason it exists is to ensure that you are not marrying someone for immigration purposes.
During these two years, your status as a conditional resident offers you many of the same benefits and opportunities that that green card holder retains.
- You can work in the United States.
- You can initiate the process of applying for lawful permanent resident status (for when your two years are up).
- You may travel to other countries and return to the United States without asking for permission beforehand.
The biggest downside to being a conditional resident is that it is not permanent. It has an expiration date. At that time, you will have to be given a new status as a lawful permanent resident of this country.
When Your Two Years Is Up
Please recall that one of your conditional resident status benefits is that you can begin preparing for a change in status. You know the two-year limit so start early. It is strongly recommended that you consult with an immigration attorney long before your status expires.
You (and your attorney) can begin to apply for you to remove conditions from your status within 90 days of your conditional status expiring. The application process is, in essence, your formal request to remove the conditions attached to your residency.
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) want to verify that your marriage was formed in good faith and not fraudulently. A good immigration attorney is not only going to understand the need to overcome this, but she also knows how to.
When you work with an attorney, the two of you can build and compile evidence to demonstrate the validity of your marriage. For example”
- Showing that you have children together
- Shared bank accounts
- Owning property together (renting is fine too but have the lease with both names on it)
- Pictures that show you and your spouse together
If you have any further legal questions or needs regarding family-based immigration, contact Zafiro Law to set up a consultation. Immigration law is complex, and we love helping our clients navigate it.