Removal of Conditional Green Card
When an immigrant receives their legal permanent resident status, it is only a conditional card valid for two years. Form I-751 enables him or her to remove the conditional clause and obtain the approval for permanent residency. However, any mistake in the filling of the form and inability to handle issues cropping up during the approval may lead to deportation proceedings.
What is a Conditional Green Card?
Foreigners or those on immigrant visas married to US citizens or lawful permanent residents for less than two years are given conditional resident status. The US green cards issued to them is valid for two years from the day of issuance. However, these green cards are non-renewable and such persons are likely to be deported unless they apply to become permanent residents.
According to the US immigration regulations, conditional residents must apply for permanent residence status within 90 days of their conditional green card expiration. The application can also include a child allowed conditional resident status along with you. The failure to do so makes them liable for removal from the country.
The application through form I-751 is the only process of removing conditions on residence so that you can prevent deportation and stay in the United States permanently. Consulting an immigration attorney in Houston is good advice to avoid any mistake, delay, documentation errors and to finalize your permanent resident process.
Who Is Eligible
The following types of people with conditional resident status can file I-751 petition for the removal of conditions in favor of permanent residency.
- Spouse of a US citizen or permanent resident
- A divorced, separated, or widowed spouse of a US citizen or permanent resident
- A child who received conditional status 90 days after his parent got the same
- Abused partner of a US Citizen
In case of divorce and abuse, you need to consult a Houston immigration lawyer to navigate through tricky issues and potential questions and prove that your marriage was in good faith.
The Filing Process
By filing the I-751 form within 90 days of the expiry of your conditional green card, you get a residential extension for up to 12 months. It can be filed even if you are out of the United States. But the applicant has to return to face the interview. The process requires joint signing and interview of the applicant and his or her spouse. In case of divorce or separation, a request for the waiver from the joint application is required.
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services requires the couple to be present for an interview and give biometrics. If anything is found missing or incomplete, they may deny your application. Unless there are issues, the application is approved with a 10-year, green card.
Common Issues To Consider
- Delay in approval: It may take 5-12 months to remove conditions on residence and get permanent resident status.
- Joint filing waiver: One may seek a waiver from joint filing of I-751 form in case of death, divorce, or abuse from the spouse. Abuse or extreme cruelty is also a ground for seeking the waiver. However, good documentation is needed.
- Good faith marriage condition: You need to prove that the marriage is not a sham to obtain resident status. Immigration authorities are very strict about it and reject any permanent residence status if have reason to believe it is a fraudulent marriage.
Immigration requirements for approving I-751 petition are stringent and complex. You cannot afford to make any mistake or become lax. It pays to seek the advice of an expert immigration attorney in Houston. Contact Zavala Texas Law (832) 819-3723 for reliable and expert legal support.