If you were granted permanent residence status based on your marriage to a United States citizen or permanent resident, then you are likely aware that your residence status is conditional and is valid for two (2) years. This condition is based on the fact that your marriage was entered into on a good faith basis. This condition on your status is so that you are not trying to enter the United States to evade other U.S. immigration laws.
Applicants must file an I-751 petition to USCIS in order to remove the conditions on his or her residence status before the end of the two-year period. The petition must be filed within the ninety (90) day period before the second year anniversary of obtaining LPR status. If the applicant is still married, then the petition should be filed jointly by the applicant and their spouse.
However, there are situations that may not allow an applicant to file the petition jointly with his/her spouse. These include:
- Divorce or annulment from spouse
- Death of spouse
- Victim of abuse from spouse
Should you fall into one of the above situations, then you may be eligible for a waiver of the joint petitioning requirements. If this applies to you, then you should contact an attorney before the two year anniversary so that you do not miss the deadline to apply to remove the conditions on your residence. If you fail to apply on time, then your conditional resident status can be terminated and removal proceedings will be initiated against you.
Preparing a successful I-751 case whether the marriage is still in-tact or where a waiver is necessary, can be extremely difficult. This is a very important stage of immigrating to the United States and should not be undertaken without proper information as adverse consequences can occur.