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Removal of Conditions

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Removal of Conditions

Remove Conditions on Permanent Residence Based on Marriage

Your permanent residence status is conditional if it is based on a marriage that was less than 2 years old on the day when you were given permanent residence. If you are overseas, you are given conditional resident status on the day you are lawfully admitted to the United States on an immigrant visa or adjustment of your status to permanent residence if you are in United States.

Your status is conditional, because you must prove that you did not get married to evade the immigration laws of the United States. To remove these conditions you must file Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence.

 

Eligibility Criteria

Generally, you may apply to remove your conditions on permanent residence if:

You are still married to the same U.S. citizen or permanent resident after 2 years (your children may be included in your application if they received their conditional resident status at the same time that you did or within 90 days)

You are a child and cannot be included in the application of your parents for a valid reason

You are a widow or widower of a marriage that was entered into in good faith

You entered into a marriage in good faith, but the marriage was ended through divorce or annulment

You entered into a marriage in good faith, but either you or your child were battered or subjected to extreme hardship by your U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse

The termination of your conditional resident status would cause extreme hardship to you

 

How to Apply to Remove the Conditions

You and your spouse must apply together to remove the conditions on your residence by filing Form I-751. You should apply during the 90 days before your second anniversary as a conditional resident. The expiration date on your green card is also the date of your second anniversary as a conditional resident. If you do not apply to remove the conditions in time, you could lose your conditional resident status and be removed from the country.

If You Are No Longer Married To Your Spouse or if You Have Been Battered or Abused by Your Spouse

If you are no longer married to your spouse, or if you have been battered or abused by your spouse, you can apply to waive the joint filing requirement. In such cases, you may apply to remove the conditions on your permanent residence any time after you become a conditional resident, but before you are removed from the country.


Your Child’s Conditional Green Card

If your child received conditional resident status within 90 days of when you did, then your child may be included in your application to remove the conditions on permanent residence. Your child must file a separate I-751 application if your child received conditional resident status more than 90 days after you did.


Where To Find The Law

The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) governs immigration in the United States. For the part of the law concerning conditional resident status based on marriage, please see Section 216 of the INA. The specific eligibility requirements and procedures for removing conditions on permanent resident status are included in the Code of Federal Regulations [CFR] at 8 CFR Section 216.

 

If You Are Late In Applying To Remove The Conditions On Residence

If you fail to properly file Form I-751 within the 90-day period before your second anniversary as a conditional resident:

Your conditional resident status will automatically be terminated and we will begin removal proceedings against you

You will receive a notice from USCIS telling you that you have failed to remove the conditions

You will receive a Notice to Appear at a hearing. At the hearing you may review and rebut the evidence against you. You are responsible for proving that you complied with the requirements

The Form I-751 can be filed after the 90-day period if you can prove in writing to the director of the appropriate Service Center that there was good cause for failing to file the petition on time. The director has the discretion to approve the petition and restore your permanent resident status.

 

How to Get a Waiver of the Requirement to File a Joint Petition

If you are unable to apply with your spouse to remove the conditions on your residence, you may request a waiver of the joint filing requirement. You may request consideration of more than one waiver provision at a time.

You may request a waiver of the joint petitioning requirements if:

Your deportation or removal would result in extreme hardship

You entered into your marriage in good faith, and not to evade immigration laws, but the marriage ended by annulment or divorce, and you were not at fault in failing to file a timely petition

You entered into your marriage in good faith, and not to evade immigration laws, but during the marriage you or your child were battered by, or subjected to extreme cruelty committed by your U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse, and you were not at fault in failing to file a joint petition

If You Are In Divorce Proceedings But Are Not Yet Divorced

If you are still married, but legally separated and/or in pending divorce or annulment proceedings, and:

You filed a waiver request. USCIS will issue a request for evidence (RFE) specifically asking for a copy of the final divorce decree or annulment (if applicable).

You filed a Form I-751 petition jointly. USCIS will issue a request for evidence (RFE) specifically asking for a copy of the final divorce decree or annulment and a statement that you would like to have your joint filing petition treated as a waiver.

Upon receipt of the final divorce decree or annulment within the specified time period, USCIS will amend the petition, to indicate that eligibility has been established for a waiver of the joint filing requirement based on the termination of the marriage.

 

Work Permit

As a permanent resident, you should have received a green card. This card will continue to prove that you have a right to live and work in the United States permanently. If you file Form I-751 on time, USCIS will extend your conditional resident status until a decision has been made on your application. You will be sent a notice reflecting this.

 

Interview

An interview may be required to demonstrate eligibility to remove the conditions on your residence. If an interview is required you will receive an appointment notice telling you when and where to appear for your interview.

 

How to Appeal

If your application to remove the conditions on your permanent residence is denied, you will receive a letter that will tell you why the application was denied. The process to remove you from the country will begin as soon as your application is denied. You will be allowed to have an immigration judge review the denial of your application during removal proceedings. During this review, USCIS must prove that the facts on your application were untruthful and/or that your application was properly denied. If the immigration judge decides to remove you from the country, you may appeal this decision.

Generally, you may appeal within 30 days after the immigration judge decides to remove you from the country. After your appeal form and a required fee are processed, the appeal will be referred to the Board of Immigration Appeals in Washington, D.C.

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Documents NeedeEvidence of the Relationship


Evidence of the Relationship
Submit copies of documents indicating that the marriage upon which you were granted conditional status was entered in ''good faith'' and was not for the purpose of circumventing immigration laws. Submit copies of as many documents as you wish to establish this fact and to demonstrate the circumstances of the relationship from the date of the marriage to the present date, and to demonstrate any circumstances surrounding the end of the relationship, if it has ended. The documents should cover, but not limited to,the following examples:
1. Birth certificate(s) of child(ren) born to the marriage;
2. Lease or mortgage contracts showing joint occupancy and/or ownership of your communal residence;
3. Financial records showing joint ownership of assets and joint responsibility for liabilities, such as joint savings and checking accounts, joint federal and state tax returns, insurance policies that show the other spouse as the beneficiary, joint utility bills, joint installments, or other loans;
4. Other documents you consider relevant to establish that your marriage was not entered into in order to evade the U.S. immigration laws; and
5. Affidavits sworn to or affirmed by at least two people who have known both of you since your conditional residence was granted and have personal knowledge of your marriage and relationship. (Such persons may be required to testify before an immigration officer as to the information contained in the affidavit.) The original affidavit must be submitted and also contain the following information regarding the person making the affidavit: his or her full name and address; date and place of birth; relationship to you or your spouse, if any; and full information and complete details explaining how the person acquired his or her knowledge. Affidavits must be supported by other types of evidence listed above.

If you are filing to waive the joint filing requirement due to the death of your spouse:
Submit a copy of the Certified death certificate with your petition.

If you are filing to waive the joint filing requirement because your marriage has been terminated:
Submit a copy of the certified divorce decree or other certified document terminating or annulling the marriage with your petition.

If you are filing to waive the joint filing requirement because you and/or your conditional resident child were battered or subjected to extreme cruelty, submit:
1. Evidence of the abuse, such as copies of reports or official records issued by police, courts, medical personnel, school officials, clergy, social workers, and other social service agency personnel. You may also submit any legal documents relating to an order of protection against the abuser or relating to any legal steps you may have taken to end the abuse. You may also submit evidence that you sought safe haven in a battered women's shelter or similar refuge, as well as photographs evidencing your injuries; and
2. A copy of your divorce decree, if your marriage was terminated by divorce on grounds of physical abuse or extreme cruelty.

If you are filing for a waiver of the joint filing requirement because the termination of your status and removal would result in ''extreme hardship"
You must submit evidence that your removal would result in hardship significantly greater than the hardship encountered by other aliens who are removed from this country after extended stays. The evidence must relate only to those factors that arose since you became a conditional resident.

If you are a child filing separately from your parent:
Submit a full explanation as to why you are filing separately, along with copies of any supporting documentation.

Criminal History
You should consult with an immigration attorney before filing your Removal of Condition Application to see its effects on your permanent residence, which could lead to being refered to an immigration judge for removal purposes.

If you have ever been arrested or detained by any law enforcement officer for any reason, and no charges were filed:
Submit an original official statement by the arresting agency or applicable court order confirming that no charges were filed.

If you have ever been arrested or detained by any law enforcement officer for any reason, and charges were filed, or if charges were filed against you without an arrest:
Submit an original or court-certified copy of the complete arrest record and/or disposition for each incident (e.g., dismissal order, conviction record, or acquittal order).

If you have ever been convicted or placed in an alternative sentencing program or rehabilitative program (such as a drug treatment or community service program), submit:
1. An original or court-certified copy of your sentencing record for each incident, and evidence that you completed your sentence, specifically:
A. An original or certified copy of your probation or parole record; or
B. Evidence that you completed an alternative sentencing program, or rehabilitative program.
2. An original or court-certified copy of the court order vacating, setting aside, sealing, expunging, or otherwise removing the arrest or conviction; or
3. If no record is available, an original statement from the court that no record exists of your arrest or conviction.

NOTE: Unless a traffic incident was alcohol or drug related, you do not need to submit documentation for traffic fines and incidents that did not involve an actual arrest if the only penalty was a fine of less than $500 and/or points on your driver's license.

 

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