For thousands of couples, obtaining conditional permanent residency is a necessary stepping stone to more permanent immigration status in the United States. As the period of conditional permanent residency comes to an end, however, there are certain steps that must be taken to secure a permanent Green Card. Navigating this process can be daunting and many individuals and couples seek legal assistance from an experienced immigration attorney to successfully remove conditions on a green card.
The team of knowledgeable attorneys at ZafiroLaw understands the process of filing a joint petition to remove conditions on a Green Card. Through our legal guidance, we have helped countless Washington-based couples secure a permanent Green Card to continue living and working in the United States. To learn more about how we can assist you through this process, consider scheduling a consultation with our team at (206) 547-9906 today.
What Is Conditional Permanent Residency for Married Couples?
Conditional permanent residency is an immigration status that is granted to the foreign-born spouse and children of a United States citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident based on marriage. A Conditional Green Card is granted in cases where the marriage is less than two years old. During the period of conditional residency, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services is looking to see that the marriage is valid and authentic.
Conditional permanent residency is nonrenewable and lasts for a period of exactly two years. In the ninety days before the expiration of the Conditional Green Card, the conditional resident is able to file to remove the conditions on their Green Card. When successful, the foreign-born spouse will then be granted a Permanent Green Card that lasts for ten years.
How Do I Remove Conditions on a Green Card?
In situations where you or your spouse has conditional permanent residency, you will be required to file Form I-751 to remove the conditions on your Green Card. When petitioning to remove conditions on a Green Card, it is important to bear in mind the following considerations:
- Be aware of timing. There is a ninety-day window before the Conditional Green Card expires in which you must apply to remove the conditions. If you file too early, your application will not be processed. If you file too late, you risk having your application denied unless you can prove that extenuating circumstances prevented you from filing earlier.
- The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services will require new evidence of the authenticity of your marriage. Since you and your spouse have spent nearly two years together in the United States, it is assumed that you will have new pictures, financial documents, or even children together.
- A recent policy change makes the interview to remove the conditions on residency optional. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services may choose to waive the interview if the evidence that you and your spouse submit is strong enough.
What Is the Form I-751?
Form I-751, known as the Petition to Remove Conditions, is required to adjust conditional permanent residency status. Form I-751 must be submitted within the ninety-day window before the conditional permanent residency expires. It is important to note that this form is a joint petition, meaning it must be completed and signed by both spouses. If it is not possible to file the form jointly due to a death, divorce, or domestic violence, for example, specific eligibility requirements may apply.
What Is the Process of Removing Conditions on a Green Card?
The process of removing conditions on a Green Card begins when you and your spouse submit Form I-751. After receiving this form, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services will mail a receipt notice, confirming that they have received your petition. If there are major issues with the application, the petition may be rejected or the USCIS may submit a Request for Evidence to solicit more information.
Next, you will receive communication regarding your biometrics appointment. At this appointment, your fingerprints and identification will be collected. It is important to note that the biometrics appointment is not an interview. The interview will occur after biometrics have been collected. If the USCIS chooses to waive the interview requirement, you will receive correspondence. If your application has been approved, you will receive a permanent Green Card in the mail.
What Happens If You Do Not Remove Conditions on a Green Card After Two Years?
It is important to remove the conditions on a Green Card before the two-year time period passes. If you do not remove the conditions of your conditional permanent residency, you will be considered “out of status” once your Conditional Green Card expires. This could lead to you losing your permanent resident status and being considered for removal/deportation from the United States. You may face deportation proceedings or begin accruing unlawful presence that could result in your being barred from the United States for a number of years.
How Long Does It Take to Remove Conditions on a Green Card?
After applying to remove conditions on a Green Card, there is a waiting period before you will receive a permanent Green Card. On average, it takes between one year and 18 months to process the application and receive a permanent Green Card. The processing time can be longer or shorter depending on a variety of factors, including the quality of evidence submitted, the number of other applications in the queue, and whether or not an interview is required.
Contact an Experienced Attorney at ZafiroLaw Today
Removing conditions on a Green Card is rarely a straightforward and easy process. Given the strict requirements set forth by United States immigration law, transitioning from conditional residency status to a permanent Green Card is time-consuming and often difficult. For this reason, more and more couples are seeking legal assistance to ensure that their application is completed and processed as quickly and efficiently as possible. To begin the process of removing conditions on your Green Card, consider contacting an experienced attorney at ZafiroLaw today at (206) 547-9906.