Removal of Conditions
Your permanent residence status is conditional if it is based on a marriage that was less than 2 years old on the day you were given permanent residence. 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.
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.
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. Please note that you must file to remove your conditions 90 days prior to your two year anniversary. If you divorced or separated from your spouse prior to this time please read the section below on this issue. You may include your children in your application if they received their conditional-resident status either at the same time or within 90 days as you did;
- Are a child and, for a valid reason, cannot be included in your parents’ application;
- Are a widow or widower who entered into your marriage in good faith;
- Entered into a marriage in good faith, but the marriage ended through divorce or annulment; or
- 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.
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 U.S.-Citizen or Lawful Permanent-Resident Spouse or Parent
You can apply to waive the joint filing requirement if you are no longer married to your spouse, or if you have been battered or abused by your U.S.-citizen or lawful permanent-resident spouse or parent.
In such cases, you may apply to remove the conditions on your permanent residence at any time after you become a conditional resident, but before you are removed from the country. You must provide evidence that removal from the United States would cause you extreme hardship.
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.
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 USCIS 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. Once in court you will be 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. We strongly suggest that you file Form I-751 timely, however, if you failed to do so make sure you consult with an experienced immigration attorney to assist in the process.
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; and
- 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.
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 information from USCIS.