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A person’s permanent residence status will be conditional if it is based on a marriage that was less than two years old on the day they were given permanent residence (lawfully admitted to the U.S. on an immigrant visa or received an adjustment of status).  A person’s permanent resident status is conditional, because they must prove that they did not get married to evade the immigration laws of the United States.

When to File:

Typically, the couple must file jointly.  The Form I-751 (Petition to Remove the Conditions on Residence) must be filed within the 90-day period before the second anniversary as a conditional resident or within 90 days of your return to the U.S., if you and your spouse are outside the U.S. on orders of the U.S. government.

If the application is filed earlier than the 90 days before the conditional residence expires, the application will be sent back.  If the application is not filed properly filed, or without explanation, the conditional resident status will be automatically terminated and the USCIS will order removal proceedings against the resident.  At the hearing you may the evidence may be rebutted by proving that the requirements were complied with.
How to Apply:

  1. Include a copy of conditional resident card (front and back);
  1. Evidence of your Bona Fide Marital Relationship – evidence covering the entire period from your marriage up to the present date; however, there is no need to repeat evidence that you already submitted to them earlier. Concentrate on the evidence that has developed since they last interviewed you.
  • A deed, showing co-ownership of your property or a lease agreement with both of your names on the lease.
  • Utility bills, credit card bills, and other types of bills which have both of your names on them (or separate bills in each person’s name with the same address).
  • Copies of joint cards, credit cards, or health insurance cards showing same account number.
  • Car, health, or life insurance that has both of your names on the policy or the other spouse listed as the beneficiary.
  • 401K or other retirement plan with spouse listed as beneficiary (right to survivorship is the technical term).
  • Bank or stock accounts with both of your names on them.
  • A copy of your joint federal and state tax returns or official tax transcript (including W-2’s and other applicable Schedules and attachments).
  • A car title or other titles to property showing joint ownership with your spouse.
  • Documentation of any vacations that you have taken and family pictures.
  • Documentary proof showing evidence of your children together (Copy of Birth Certificate, photos, etc)
  • Copies of Christmas cards and other holiday cards addressed to you both.

Processing:

The I-751 form and accompanying documents are mailed to either the USCIS California or Vermont Service Centers depending on the state of residence.  If the couple is selected for an interview, it will be at their local USCIS office, not at the service center.  I-751 cases are generally completed in 6-12 months, currently.  Once you receive the 10-year green card, it should be renewed every 10 years, if you do not become a U.S. citizen in the interim.