If you initially received permanent resident status in the United States by marrying a U.S. citizen within two years of entering the country, your residence here is not “permanent” just yet. Your legal status is considered conditional until you prove that you did not get married for the sole purpose of getting into the United States without violating immigration laws.
Fortunately, you can get your conditional status here removed by meeting certain criteria and proving your qualification for legal permanent residence to U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services. A qualified lawyer could provide guidance and support throughout the entire process of removing conditions of residence in Aurora.
Qualifying for Removal of Conditions
Once someone receives conditional permanent resident status in the United States based on his or her own marriage or his or her parent’s marriage to a U.S. citizen, he or she does not need to take any special measures to remain eligible for the eventual removal of conditions on his or her residence. As long you or your parent remains married to the same spouse for two years after receiving your green card, you qualify to apply jointly with that spouse or stepparent to get your conditions of residence in Aurora removed.
There are also a few specific circumstances under which a conditional permanent resident who entered a marriage in good faith can apply for legal permanent resident status by themselves. These include:
- The death of the spouse or stepparent
- The dissolution or annulment of the marriage
- Extreme cruelty and/or physical abuse by the spouse or stepparent against the person seeking removal of conditions and/or their child
- A high likelihood of extreme hardship on the conditional resident if his or her legal residence were to be terminated
Filing Requirements and Time Limits
A person who intends to file jointly with a spouse or stepparent for the removal of conditions of residence in Aurora must begin the process by filing Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence. Along with this petition, the applicants must submit various forms of documentation proving that their marriage was in good faith, as well as copies of their Permanent Resident Cards, the Permanent Resident Cards of any children they wish to include in the petition, and any dispositions regarding criminal charges or convictions that might render someone ineligible for permanent residence. Additional documents such as death certificates may be required if an applicant must file a petition by themselves.
The only period of time in which a conditional resident can apply for the removal of his or her conditions of residence is the 90 days immediately preceding the date on which their green card expires, which should be exactly two years after he or she first received it. Anyone who fails to file in time may be subject to automatic termination of their legal resident status and immediate removal from the United States, unless he or she provides a written explanation with a petition showing good cause for the late application.
Speak to an Aurora Attorney About Removing Conditions of Residence
In the best-case scenario, applying for legal permanent resident status after spending a couple years as a conditional resident in the United States is just a matter of filling out some paperwork alongside your spouse or stepparent. However, this process can get significantly more complicated if you need to file by yourself for any reason, or if you are unable to submit your petition within the standard 90-day filing period.
In these circumstances, getting help from a seasoned immigration lawyer may be the only way for you to effectively pursue the outcome you want in your case. Call today to discuss removing conditions of residence in Aurora with a qualified legal professional.