YOU MUST REMOVE YOUR CONDITIONAL STATUS TO MAINTAIN LEGAL PERMANENT RESIDENCY
WHAT IS CONDITIONAL STATUS:
To prevent fraudulent marriage, USCIS gives conditional legal permanent resident status to newlyweds. A newlywed is someone who has been married for less than two years before receiving legal permanent resident status. All newlyweds must apply to remove this conditional status one year and nine months after receiving their green card. If a newlywed fails to remove this conditional status, the newlywed will completely lose their status and will become deportable.
HOW TO REMOVE YOUR CONDITIONAL STATUS:
All applicants must file a Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence. It is not enough to simply file this form. You must also include proof that you and your spouse still live together and share in the household income and expenses. Although you may not have had much evidence of living together when you first applied for your residency, USCIS expects you to have taken steps to merge your accounts since the marriage interview. Although the officer may tell you about your obligation to do this, they often do not tell you exactly what steps you must take.
HOW TO PREPARE NOW FOR YOUR FUTURE I-751 APPLICATION:
The best way to show that you are in a true marriage is to prove that you live together at the same residence and share in the expenses of maintaining the home. The best documents are the following:
A lease agreement in both names, and a complete printout of every rent payment for the past 21 months
At least one utility bill in both names. Provide proof of monthly payments for the past 21 months
A joint bank account in both names, showing rent payments and utility bill payments for 21 months
Jointly filed tax returns
A copy of both of your driver's licenses, showing the same residence. Joint registration is also good.
This is the minimum that you should provide. If you have more proof, such as joint insurance, a newborn birth certificate, or update photos, provide it.
HOW DIVORCE AFFECTS YOUR CONDITIONAL STATUS:
If you are separated from your spouse for any reason, and you believe the relationship is irreparably broken, getting a divorce may be the only practical solution to your situation. If you divorce, you should submit your I-751 form right away and provide as much proof of your relationship as possible. Ideally, you should provide the items listed above for as many months as you were married. Sometimes marriages do not work out. A divorce, on its own, will not prevent you from obtaining your 10-year green card, so long as you can prove that the marriage was valid to begin with.
For any other questions regarding removing your conditional status, please contact our firm and come in for an initial consultation: (541) 513-7753. A consultation may also be booked online by clicking here.