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If you received a two year green card and your card is either expiring or has expired, contact the Hammond Law Group for representation. United States Citizenship and Immigration Services grants conditional resident status to certain foreign nationals who marry a U.S. citizens. If the underlying marriage is less than two years old at the time USCIS grants the case, then the foreign national received conditional lawful permanent resident status. The foreign national receives a two-year green card. Conditional permanent residents must file the I-751 Petition to Remove Conditions within ninety (90) days immediately prior to the expiration of the card. Failure to timely file automatically terminates the status. USCIS can call the foreign national for an interview on the petition. USCIS can also call the spouse. These interviews are done similar in style to the marriage based adjustment of status interviews. If USCIS denies the petition, USCIS might start deportation proceedings.
Jointly Filed I-751 Petition to Remove Conditions
When that ninety-day window approaches and if the couple remains married, then they must both sign the I-751 and file it with USCIS. This filing is a joint filing. Included in that filing and along with the form, the couple must submit evidence that their relationship is real, bona fide. The couple must prove that their marriage continues and that they continue to share a life together.
What happens when a couple separates and begins the divorce process during the two-year period? The requirement to timely file the I-751 remains. USICS understands that some divorce proceedings take a long period of time. Policies exist to help guide the foreign national on how to file and remain in status. We have extensive experience with these cases and understand how to navigate the policies. Call us and let us help you.
Waivers of the Joint Filing Requirement
If the underlying marriage terminates by divorce or annulment during the two year period, the foreign national must still file the Petition to Remove Conditions. The foreign national must apply for a waiver of the joint filing requirement. There are several different waivers available:
- Good Faith Waiver: If the marriage terminates in a manner other than the death of the spouse, then the foreign national must prove they entered into the marriage in “good faith.” In other words the marriage was not fraudulent.
- Battered Spouse or Child Waiver: If during the course of a “good faith” marriage the foreign national suffers physical or emotional abuse through his or her spouse, then they may apply for a waiver of the I-751 joint filing requirement.
- Extreme Hardship Waiver: If during the two year conditional residence period an extreme harship arose, then the foreign national could receive a waiver of the joint filing requirement. Review this extreme hardship webpage for some more detail.
Termination of Two-Year Conditional Resident Status
If USCIS denies the I-751 petition on the merits (the evidence submitted) or the alien fails to timely file the case (before the expiration of the two year green card), the law terminates the conditional resident status. The termination of status reverts back to the day the foreign national obtained that status. USCIS usually initiates deportation or removal proceedings. In removal or deportation proceedings, the foreign national may have the immigration review the denial. The foreign national may re-file an I-751 and, if appropriate, assert any of the above named waivers not already asserted. In the instance where the foreign national failed to timely file the I-751 he or she must show “good cause and extenuating circumstances” as to why.
If you or someone you know has an expired two-year green card or that card is soon to expire, please contact us today. Over the years, we’ve encountered some very unique cases and successfully handled them. We’ve taken foreign nationals who failed to file their I-751’s and been ordered deported to getting their citizenship. We’ve worked with foreign nationals who were stationed abroad and failed to timely file their case and who are now living in our community as citizens. Use our experience for your family and friends. Call us and we’ll help ensure your rights are protected during the process and put your case in the light most favorable to you.