marc Schifanelli, Esq. 

Integrity, Dedication

& Competence

Contact US  (240) 882-2402

If you Were Granted U.S. Lawful Permanent Resident Status Based on Your Marriage to A U.S. Citizen, and at the time that status was granted your marriage was less than two years old, your permanent resident status is "conditional." it is up to you to submit a petition to remove conditional resident status or you risk losing that status altogether.    

Integrity, Dedication & Competence

Removing Conditions on Your Marriage Based Permanent Resident Status

Why Is My Permanent Resident Status "Conditional?"

When a foreign national marries a U.S. citizen and the couple start the adjustment of status procedure with the Immigration Service ("USCIS"), USCIS will conduct an in-person interview to make sure that the marriage is bona fide.  That is, to ensure that the foreign national (i.e. the alien) and the U.S. citizen didn't enter into marriage with the sole purpose to get the alien a green card (i.e., to evade the immigration laws by committing "marriage fraud").  USCIS conducts tens of thousands of these "I-130 interviews" annually, and most are approved as valid marriages and the alien is granted permanent resident status.  However, there is no way that USCIS can be 100% sure at that first  immigration interview that a given marriage is truly bona fide.  Consequently, when the couple have been married for less than two years at the time the alien is granted permanent resident status, the law (INA sec. 216) requires that the alien and the sponsoring U.S. spouse petition USCIS during the 90 days prior to the second anniversary of the date on which the alien obtained conditional resident status.  Unless waived by a USCIS Field Director, the couple will be required to appear at another interview in front of a USCIS adjudicator, and for the purpose of determining that the alien and U.S. citizen sponsor are still in a valid marital relationship.


Does My Citizen Spouse Need to Sign the Petition to Remove Conditions?

Yes, and he or she needs to attend the interview if one is scheduled for you. By signing,  he or she is swearing that you are both still in a valid marital relationship (with each other, of course, and your're not in divorce proceedings, legally separated with intent to terminate the marriage, etc.).   

What My Spouse Does Not Agree to Sign the Petition to Remove Conditions, or We Are in Divorce Proceedings or Already Divorced?

It happens, just as it does in marriages between two U.S. citizens who had the best of intentions at the beginning.  However, assuming you want to remain in the U.S. as a Lawful Permanent Resident, you definitely need to seek legal counsel immediately with a competent Maryland immigration lawyer who has experience in handling petitions to remove conditions when the parties are separated, divorced, or in divorce proceedings.  At Schifanelli Law, LLP, an experienced immigration lawyer will review your matter and recommend the best course of action.  Although your marriage may be terminated, or in the process, waivers are available based on different circumstances that can allow you to remain in lawful permanent resident status and ultimately become a U.S. citizen is you so desire. (See 8 C.F.R. 216.5, et. seq.)  


                                                      What if my spouse or fiancee is in deportation and removal proceedings?

                 Do I need an Immigration Lawyer and How Much Will I Pay?

Contact Schifanelli Law, LLP at 410-263-0028 for an initial consultation with a Lawyer in Annapolis.
2450 Riva Road, Suite 201, Annapolis, Maryland 21401.
Serving the Maryland and Washington D.C. Communities.

Even if you are still happily married, the process can be quite complicated.  A competent Green Card and Immigration Lawyer like those at Schifanelli Law, LLP in Annapolis, Maryland can help you properly file your petition to remove conditional status and possibly even avoid having to appear at the local USCIS Field Office for a second interview. Contact us today to help ensure you meet your immigration obligations timely and efficiently.    

How We Can Help

If you are a conditional permanent resident of the U.S., your status (and your green card) is only valid for an initial period of two years.  Before the expiration of your permanent resident status, you must timely file an application to remove the conditions.  Once approved, you will receive a new green card valid for ten years.  The new green card will have an expiration date on it, but your status as a lawful permanent resident of the United States will not. 

However, before issuing you a "ten year green card," you must satisfy those "conditions."  As experienced Maryland immigration lawyers, we have helped hundreds file these petitions to remove the conditions placed on their permanent resident status.  Often, we are able to help our clients avoid the second interview at the USCIS Field Office, and have the new card issue without it.