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Lawful permanent residents of the United States have either conditional or unconditional status.  Conditional status is granted to spouses of United States citizens or permanent residents if they have not been married more than two years at the time the status is granted. The logic behind this rule is to verify that the marriage remains intact over the course of time before unconditional status is approved. This week's blog will outline the process for removing the conditions so that the individual' s status as a permanent resident is, in fact, permanent.

What is the process for removing the conditional status?  

To remove the conditions, an application must be filed with United States Citizenship and Immigration Service.  For immigrants who are still married and living together with the petitioner spouse, this is a fairly straightforward process.  Both spouses sign the petition and submit evidence that they live together.  If the spouses are separated, the immigrant may still petition without the spouse.  However, the immigrant must show one of the following:

(a)  termination of the permanent resident status would cause extreme hardship

(b)  the marriage has been legally terminated

(c)  the spouse has passed away; or

(d) the immigrant was subjected to extreme cruelty by the spouse that petitioned for the immigrant.

When can the petition for removal of conditions be filed?

The earliest date the petition can be filed is 90 days before the expiration of the conditional green card.  it should be filed as soon after the 90th day before expiration as reasonably possible.

What is the result of removal of conditions?

Once the application is approved, the immigrant will receive a green card, evidencing the status as lawful permanent resident, without condition.  After the application is approved, there is no future need to establish or prove the continued marriage, even in the event of divorce or death.  

If you're a conditional permanent resident, and need to apply to remove the conditions, you don't need to go through the journey alone.  Immigrants need guidance and expertise of a qualified professional to assit with the process. Christiansen Law Firm has significant experience assisting immigrants with removal of conditions.  Contact the offices of Christiansen Law Firm in Houston or San Antonio for additional information about your removal of conditions.  

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