Since coming to the United States, you have probably had many positive experiences. Undoubtedly, you have found a good job, made new friends and perhaps reunited with family who arrived here before you. Perhaps those friends and family gathered with you on your wedding day.
Your marriage to a U.S. citizen or permanent resident not only marked the beginning of a new life as a spouse, but it was also the basis of your conditional resident status in this country. Since the government has legally admitted you as a conditional resident, your next step is to remove the conditions from your status.
Applying for removal of conditions
By limiting you to conditional residency, the government allows you time to prove that you married in good faith. As you may know, some foreigners abuse the process of obtaining residency through marriage, so the government established the two-year period to detect fraud. If you are approaching your two-year anniversary, you are likely eager to shed your provisional status and become a permanent resident. You are eligible for this change if you meet any of these requirements:
- You and your spouse are still married after two years.
- You are a minor who is not eligible for inclusion in your parents' application for residency.
- You married in good faith, but your spouse died before your two-year anniversary.
- You or your children suffered abuse or hardship at the hands of your U.S.-citizen or permanent-resident spouse.
- The marriage ended in divorce or annulment despite your good faith.
Ninety days before your second anniversary, you and your spouse should apply for removal of the conditions on your residency status. Your green card will expire on your second anniversary, so missing this deadline could lead to serious consequences, including the immediate termination of your residency and initiation of removal proceedings against you.
Seeking help for your immigration needs
If you have suffered hardship in your marriage or if you miss the deadline for the removal of your conditions, you may be unsure how to proceed. You may be able to apply for a waiver of joint petitioning if you are unable to apply with your spouse. Applying for waivers is complicated and may require proof of eligibility, for example that you suffered cruelty at the hands of your spouse.
Having legal assistance as you apply for the removal of your conditions is advantageous, whether you require waivers due to hardships or remain married to your U.S.-citizen or permanent-resident spouse. A Texas immigration attorney will understand and explain the required forms you will need to complete and assist you with meeting deadlines to avoid any negative consequences.