When an immigrant receives a green card through marriage to a U.S. citizen or permanent resident they become a conditional permanent resident if the marriage is less than two years. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Service issues a green card valid for two years in an effort to ensure that the marriage was not entered into fraudulently. Within 90 days of the expiration of the green card, the lifting of conditions must be filed jointly with the spouse. Failure to do so could cause the immigrant to lose permanent resident status automatically. Failing to timely file will result in termination of conditional residency status.
What if there is a divorce?
Not all marriages last, that being the case a divorce does not necessarily mean that the immigrant will not receive permanent status. The form must still be filed als a waiver proving that the marriage was entered into in good faith, but resulted in divorce. Evidence proving that marriage was entered into in good faith at its inception is critical. A skilled immigration lawyer will assist you in preparing your case
Was The Marriage Real?
With a divorce, an applicant should an interview by a USCIS officer. Even if the couple is together, the reason for the conditional status is to determine that the marriage was based on a relationship and not for the sole purpose of receiving an immigration benefit. If there are children together, whether biological or adopted, that is a good indication that the two had a relationship. Other evidence could joint accounts, utility statements, invitations, gym membership, photos together, affidavits, and more.
If there is not a legal divorce but the partner refuses to sign the form, a waiver must still be filed. If there is some extenuating circumstance, they may be able to file a hardship waiver based on abuse or cruelty. IGenerally, however, the divorce must be finalized; proper planning is critical when preparing a lifting of conditions.
When can it be filed?
If the immigrant is still married the form must be filed within 90 days before the date that the card will expire. If there is a divorce or the spouse dies the form can be filed at any time before the card expires. If the card has expired the immigrant is immediately removable from the country, however, they are able to file and provide a statement if they can prove that there was a good reason they were unable to file on time and that it was through no fault of their own, such as an extreme hardship.