Individuals who have come to the United States through marriage are given two year conditional Green Card. This Green Card is only valid for a period of two years, after which you must apply to have the condition removed from the Green Card. If you are still married to your spouse, the two of you can apply together to have this condition removed. However, if you are no longer married you can still apply to remove the condition, depending on your circumstances.
For individuals who are still married:
File the I-751 together with your spouse. Submit evidence showing that you live together as a normal married couple and plan to do so on the future. This can be very easy if for example you have children together, have purchased property jointly, and have documentation showing a normal married life style.
Some couples may be in a unique circumstance. For example if one spouse resides in a different state in order to complete their studies, or if they have very few shared assets, this can be challenging, but not impossible. In these situations it is highly advisable to obtain an experience attorney who will guide you through the steps in order to explain your situation and provide the relevant evidence for your case.
If you and your spouse are no longer together you need to request a waiver based on the following categories:
1. My spouse or my parent's spouse is deceased
2. I or my parent entered the marriage in good faith, but the marriage was terminated through divorce or annulment.
3. I entered the marriage in good faith, and during the marriage, was battered, or was the subject of extreme cruelty, by my U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse; or
4. the termination of my status and removal from the United States would result in extreme hardship
Depending on your circumstances you should choose the waiver that is most relevant to your situation. As always you should consult with a qualified immigration attorney about your situation in order to understand which waiver you qualify for.
Here are some practical tips about the waiver process.
You need to provide relevant evidence. For example, if you file under the abuse waiver, be prepared to submit evidence that you were physically battered and abused by your spouse. This includes police reports, records from a domestic violence shelter, and affidavits from those who knew about the abuse in your relationship.
You may be called in for an interview, even if you provide sufficient evidence. This does not mean that there is a problem with your case. Be prepared to explain the circumstances of your relationship, marriage, and divorce.
Regardless of whether you file jointly with your spouse, or under one of the waiver categories, the most important thing you need to prove in the I-751 process is that you entered into a good faith bona fide marriage. Anything that you can use to prove that you are or were a normal married couple will be helpful. Typically this includes everything from financial documents, to birthday cards, family photos, and vacation receipts.
This article should be used for informational and educational purposes only and should not be relied upon as direct legal advice. Consult a qualified immigration attorney in order to obtain legal advice about your immigration matter.