Despite some economic and political setbacks, the U.S. remains a land of opportunities. For that reason, it attracts immigrants from across the world. Your immigration lawyer will tell you in detail how the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) have provisions to help various categories of immigrant aspirants to gain citizenship in the U.S. In case, a citizen or a permanent resident of U.S. has married a citizen of a foreign country, the non-citizen is allowed a conditional permanent resident status in the U.S.
Upon fulfillment of predetermined conditions, the conditional permanent resident status is converted into permanent resident status. A Conditional Status is granted initially to ensure that immigrant aspirants are not entering into fake or fraudulent marriage relationship in order to gain U.S. citizenship. The conditional status is applicable only if the marriage has not completed two years.
When is the Conditional Status Removed?
Immigrant aspirant who has entered the U.S. on a Conditional Permanent Resident status can look to apply for immigration removal of conditional status. Deportation lawyers will tell you how removal operation can be carried out under the following scenarios -
1) The immigrant continues to be married to the same US citizen or permanent resident even after 2 years of entry into the US. The application can also include your children if they too have received a conditional permanent resident status along with you or within 90 days after you received.
2) If you are a child and for some reason cannot be included as part of the application for removal of conditional status
3) If you are a widow / widower / divorcee and you married in good faith
4) If you or your child were a victim of domestic violence or abuse by the citizen spouse
The standard format for the application for removal of condition is available as Form I-751. The Form I-751 should be filled up jointly by the couple and should reach the USCIS 90 days before the completion of 2nd year anniversary after being granted permanent conditional status. Inability to file the form timely would cause you to loose your resident status and you would have to leave the US. If there is a delay on account of a genuine reason, you will need to make a written application to the director of the appropriate service centre. The cost of filing Form I – 751 is about $505 and if we include the biometric fees, the cost would go upto $590.
Is there a waiver for filing a Joint Petition
You can request a waiver for filing a joint application in case you are a divorcee or a subject of domestic violence. But in such a scenario you may also need to provide on the following –
1) You entered into the marriage in good faith and there was no intent in dodging US immigration laws
2) If you are asked to leave the U.S. it will lead to extreme hardship for you / your child.
What if my application for immigration removal of conditions is refused?
In case the application for immigration removal of condition is denied, you will be allowed to have an immigration judge who will re-examine the denial of your application during removal proceedings. During this reassessment, the USCIS will need to prove that the points stated in your application were untruthful. The judge may or may not agree with the denial of application. In case the judge agrees to the denial, you have a right to appeal the decision. The appeal has to be made within 30 days after the decision of judge to remove you from the country is announced.
If you want to best represent your case and avoid an unpleasant situation of denial / deportation it is best to hire immigration or a deportation lawyer. The process of filing a Form I-751 can sometimes be a complicated task as you will need to provide robust evidence to support the various facts. It is best to leave the job to an immigration lawyer.
Maria Hernandez is an managing immigration attorney at Malcom Cisneros Law Immigration Practices. For any query or information regarding immigration laws, contact Maria over firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her website www.mcvisaattorney.com
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