Obtaining a green card through marriage to a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident is an exciting milestone. However, if you have been married for less than two years when your green card is approved, you will receive what is called a conditional green card. The “Removal of Conditions” process allows you to convert your conditional green card into a permanent one. In this article, we will explore the filing timeline, requirements, potential caveats, and considerations, as well as costs associated with the process.
Typically, you can file the “Removal of Conditions” application within the 90-day period before your conditional green card expires. It’s crucial to file on time to avoid jeopardizing your status. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recommends filing as early as possible during this timeline to ensure timely processing.
What documents must you submit?
While it is important to consult with an experienced immigration attorney, you would generally need to gather the following:
Supporting Documentation: Include evidence that demonstrates the bona fide nature of your marriage, such as:
- joint bank account statements,
- leases or mortgages showing shared residency,
- utility bills with both names,
- photographs together,
- birth certificates of children born during the marriage,
- affidavits from family and friends,
- or any other relevant proof of a genuine marital relationship.
What happens if you divorce after receiving your conditional green card?
In certain circumstances, you may be eligible to file the “Removal of Conditions” application without your spouse. These situations include cases where your spouse has passed away, you have divorced or obtained an annulment, or you have experienced domestic violence or extreme hardship. However, it is important to consult an immigration attorney to assess your specific circumstances and determine your eligibility to file without your spouse.
Children in the Context of “Removal of Conditions”
If you have children who were granted conditional permanent resident status at the same time as you, they must also apply for the removal of conditions, using Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence. Each eligible child must file a separate application and pay the associated fees. Ensure that you include all eligible children on the application forms to avoid complications.
As of June 2023, the filing fee for a Petition of Removal of Conditions is $680 U.S. Dollars.