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The next step after receiving a green card through marriage

Receiving conditional resident status in the United States was a happy side effect of your marriage. In fact, going through the channels to obtain your status in this country may have been one element that delayed your marriage or at least created a bit of extra tension during your preparations. However, the benefits you gained were worth the stress.

You are likely aware of the conditions that exist on your green card and the reasons for these conditions. Now that you have shown that your marriage was in good faith, you are ready to take the steps necessary for the removal of those conditions.

Filing for removal of conditions

Immigration laws are strict, and the current climate in the country means authorities are more careful about enforcing the laws that govern who stays and who goes. Your permanent resident status is conditional because the government wants to make sure people don't abuse the marriage allowances to gain unlawful entry into the country. If you want to request removal of the conditions on your green card, you must be ready to prove any of the following:

  • You and your U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse are still married as you approach the two-year anniversary of your status approval.
  • Your spouse has died since you married.
  • You intended to stay married, but your marriage ended in a divorce or annulment.
  • You intended to stay married, but your U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse abused or mistreated you.

Any of your children who obtained conditional residency at the same time you did are eligible for inclusion on your application for removal of conditions. However, children whom you do not include on your application must apply separately before their conditional status expires.

The clock is ticking

Timely application for removal of conditions is essential. You will want to begin the filing process within 90 days before the expiration date on your green card. Failing to meet this deadline means your status will expire, and the government will immediately begin the process of deporting you. You will receive a notice from immigration and a chance to defend yourself from deportation at a hearing.

The odds are against you at this point, and you may find it difficult to convince an immigration judge that you complied with the filing requirements in good faith. To improve your chances of prompt removal of the conditions on your permanent residency, you may wish to enlist the help of a Colorado immigration attorney. Such an advocate can help you through the filing process, ensure you meet your deadlines and assist you in the event your application is denied.

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