Conditional Permanent Residents
Most spouses of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents (LPR) who immigrate through marriage must first go through “conditional” permanent resident status. The conditional residence provision only affects foreign spouses whose marriage occurred less than two years before they either were admitted to the United States as LPRs or adjusted status in the United States.
Conditional residents have the same rights, privileges, and responsibilities as other permanent residents, including the right to work. However, conditional permanent residents must take additional steps at the end of the second year in order to maintain lawful status.
Conditional residents must apply to remove conditions on residence. The petition must be filed within 90 days before the two year anniversary of when the green card was issued. Failure to timely file for the removal of condition may result in removal proceedings.
Late filings may be accepted by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) if the applicant is able to show compelling reasons for the late filing.
Once the petition for removal of conditions is received by USCIS, the applicant will receive a receipt. This receipt will serve as evidence of lawful status while the removal of condition petition is pending.
In a typical case, a couple files a “joint petition” to have the conditions removed. The married couple must provide evidence that the marriage was entered into in good faith and for legitimate reasons.
Properly filed removal of conditions cases have a high probability of success. Many cases can be approved by USCIS without the requirement of attending an interview. On the other hand, cases that do not contain sufficient evidence may take longer to adjudicate and may require that the couple attend an interview with USCIS.Waiver of Joint Filing Requirement for I-751 Petitions
When a couple is not able to file a joint petition, the conditional resident can request that the joint filing requirement be waived. There are four grounds that allow an applicant to request this waiver:
- The marriage was entered into in good faith, but the spouse has died;
- The marriage was entered into in good faith, but the marriage has been terminated by divorce or annulment;
- The marriage was entered into in good faith, but the conditional resident has been battered or subject to extreme cruelty by spouse, or
- Applicant can show termination of permanent residency and deportation would result in extreme hardship.
Waiver of joint filing petitions require a great deal of evidence. The applicant has the burden of proving that the marriage was entered into in good faith. Waiver cases have a higher probability of being selected for an interview.
Waivers of the joint filing requirements for a marriage that was entered into in good faith, but terminated due to divorce are available to the applicant regardless of who was at fault in the divorce.RETAINING THE SERVICES OF A QUALIFIED IMMIGRATION LAWYER TO ASSIST IN I-751 PETITIONS FOR CONDITIONAL PERMANENT RESIDENTS
The I-751 petition involves much more than simply filling out an application and waiting for results. There are a number of procedural and material requirements for removing conditions on residence. Navigating through the process can be very daunting and time-consuming. For this reason, it is advisable to obtain the advice and assistance of a qualified immigration law attorney to handle the matter. To those unfamiliar with the extensive paperwork and legal requirements, the I-751 petition process can quickly become frustrating and overwhelming. An attorney experienced in all aspects of conditional residency status can make the process more manageable.THE LYTTLE LAW FIRM CAN HELP WITH YOUR I-751 REMOVAL OF CONDITIONS ON RESIDENCE PETITION
The Lyttle Law Firm in Austin, Texas, has experience in handling both joint petitions and waiver of joint filing petitions, and can alleviate both the practical and emotional burdens of navigating through the process. Moreover, because immigration law deals solely with federal law and not state law, the Lyttle Law Firm can handle cases for clients no matter what state they currently reside in or where they intend to reside in the future.
Austin, Texas immigration attorney Daniella Lyttle of the Lyttle Law Firm speaks Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian fluently, and can communicate directly with clients in these languages. If you need the assistance of a competent immigration attorney to handle an I-751 removal of conditions petition, please call the Lyttle Law Firm for a consultation.