WHAT IS CONDITIONAL PERMANENT RESIDENT STATUS?
A foreign national who is eligible to become a permanent resident based on marriage to a United States citizen spouse, but who has been married for less than two years at the time permanent resident status is granted, is granted "conditional" permanent resident status for 2 years. 90 days before the expiration of the two-year conditional period, the conditional permanent resident may then apply to remove the conditions and make the permanent resident status "permanent", i.e. not "conditional".
HOW DO I APPLY TO REMOVE THE CONDITIONS?
Generally, if the foreign national is still married to the same U.S. citizen spouse, the petition to remove conditions is filed jointly by both spouses. When the spouses file a joint petition, the process is fairly straighforward and is based on a simple showing that the spouses are still married and together. The joint filing requirement can be waived if the conditional permanent resident can show:
- the marriage was entered into in good faith but the U.S. citizen spouse died;
- the marriage was entered into in good faith but the marriage was terminated by divorce or annulment;
- the marriage was entered into in good faith but the conditional permanent resident was battered or subject to extreme cruelty by the U.S. citizen spouse; OR
- the termination of conditional permanent resident status and removal from the United States would result in extreme hardship.
If you are a conditional permanent resident, it is important to seek legal assistance to guide you through the process of removal of conditions. Christiansen Law Firm partners with conditional permanent residents to assist in obtaining removal of conditions. The immigration attorneys of Christiansen Law Firm have extensive experience in immigration matters, and can help ensure that your conditions are removed timely and properly. Contact the offices of Christiansen Law Firm in Houston or San Antonio to schedule a free consultation.