When some people receive a green card, it is not the full permanent resident status that can last up to ten years. Instead, they receive a conditional green card because they have been married to a U.S. citizen for less than two years. Immigration authorities want to make sure that a marriage is bona fide before issuing a full green card.
When a conditional green card is coming close to its two-year expiration date, the holder must file a Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence, which is accomplished through immigration Form I-751. If you are in this situation and need to seek the removal of green card conditions, you should always seek assistance from a Chicago immigration attorney.
When someone applies for a green card based on a short marriage to a United States citizen, they need to provide proof that it is a true marriage before USCIS will issue a full, ten-year green card. Even though your current green card is considered conditional, it still provides you with the rights and benefits that other permanent residents have. However, it is critical that you remain aware of when your green card will expire. This is because you must file your Form I-751 90 days before the expiration date. If you miss this timeline, you risk facing removal proceedings.
When you are reaching the time to file your Form I-751, both you and your spouse will need to work together to complete the petition to remove your conditions. There are a few exceptions to the joint filing requirement:
In these situations, you should discuss potentially getting the joint filing requirement waived with your immigration attorney.
With your petition, you will need to provide evidence of your bona fide marriage to USCIS. Such records and evidence can include your marriage certificate, photos or social media posts that support your marriage and life together, proof that you have joined your financial affairs, birth certificates of children you and your spouse had together, and more. An experienced immigration lawyer who has handled this type of petition will know the evidence that USCIS is looking for in this situation.
USCIS might require you, your spouse, or both of you to undergo in-person interviews. This helps immigration officials better understand whether you have a legitimate marriage or not. Such interviews can cover many topics, including your personal histories, extended families, living arrangements, dates, how you met and how your relationship progressed, how you live as a married couple, and much more. Many people are intimidated by such interviews since the stakes are so high, but your lawyer can prepare you for what to expect, what to say, and what not to say. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
The exact questions that will be asked are not the same in each interview and cannot be predicted. The most important thing you can do is be honest and take time to prepare by reviewing the details of your application.
If you need assistance with a Form I-751 for the Removal of Conditions in the Chicago area, look no further than our immigration team at Sverdloff Law Group. Contact us to request your consultation today.
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