Removal of Conditions

Massa Viana Law

Removal of Conditions

Converting to Full Lawful Permanent Status

You received the happy news that the government approved your Green Card application and granted you Lawful Permanent Resident Status, however, your status is only valid for two years. What is going on?

For someone who obtains a Green Card within two years of marriage to a petitioning U.S. Citizen, the government only grants you with “conditional” residency, issuing a Green Card that is only valid for two years. To remove conditions on your residency, the beneficiary needs to go through another process known as “removal of conditions.” This is another tool the government uses to combat and discourage marriage fraud.

The process to remove the conditions on your green card is not a simple renewal application, although many mistake it for such. The removal of conditions process can sometimes be more intrusive than the original green card application, as it requires that the couple show evidence of a bona-fide marriage for the two years the person has been a green card holder. 

Once you are granted conditional residency, it is very important to keep track of the two-year deadline. Generally ninety days before that deadline (i.e. one year and nine months after the issue date on your Green Card), you will be required to file Form I-751 to remove your conditions. If you fail to do so within the allotted time frame, you will risk losing your residency and being placed into removal (deportation) proceedings. 

Filing the I-751 before the expiration of your Green Card automatically extends your status until the government makes a final decision. This means you will continue to be allowed to work, travel, and enjoy all the usual benefits of lawful permanent residents.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Challenges can include insufficient evidence or changes in marital circumstances. Comprehensive evidence is vital in order to compile a strong case, including evidence of commingling of financial resources, shared living arrangements, and other elements that show your marriage is bonafide.

A Removal of Conditions petition includes several pieces of evidence spanning the duration of the marriage up to the point of application: we ask clients to gather a combination of financial records, joint property ownership documents, shared leases, utility bills, and tax returns. Additionally, affidavits from friends, family members, and other individuals familiar with the marriage can add credibility to the case. We also include evidence that shows a shared life together, such as evidence of joint trips, family gatherings, school commitments and more.

The standard Removal of Conditions is a joint petition, filed by both spouses. Divorce can complicate this process. However, divorce does not mean that you will lose your green card. Our attorneys work with you to show how, despite the divorce, the marriage was bonafide at its inception, preserving your right to permanent residency, even if you are already in removal proceedings.

Your safety is the primary concern, irrespective of immigration status. But please know that the law provides a waiver of the joint-filing for victims of domestic violence. Our attorneys provide confidential guidance, assisting victims in gathering evidence and obtaining necessary documentation to support their waiver case.


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