Marrying a United States citizen and coming to this country has probably been a dream come true, so you want to make sure nothing will stop your dream of living in the U.S. If you obtained residency with conditions due to your recent marriage, you should think about how to remove those conditions to help you secure permanent residence.
The U.S. places conditional status on your residency if your marriage occurred less than two years before you became a resident. The U.S. government wants to see if your intentions to marry were genuine. The USCIS explains when you are eligible for the removal of conditions from your resident status.
Filing jointly to remove conditions
Once you have completed two years of marriage to your spouse, you may file a Form I-751 to change your residency status. But to do so, you must apply with your U.S. citizen or resident spouse. The USCIS calls this action “filing jointly.”
If you had gained entry to the United States as a stepchild of a married couple and they have reached two years of marriage, you may have similar conditions on your residency. If so, you may apply to remove the conditions with your stepparent provided your parent did not include you in his or her Form 1-751.
Filing without a spouse
Everything might not go as you hope in your marriage. The U.S. government understands that some married immigrants end up in bad situations and is willing to remove conditions on residency in certain circumstances. Your spouse may have died or you got divorced or had your marriage annulled. You may still seek a change in your residency status in these situations.
You may also seek permanent residency in the event your spouse becomes abusive. The USCIS will consider applications from immigrants who suffer battery or cruelty from a spouse, or if removal from the country would result in extreme hardship.
Check the rules that apply to you
Be sure to follow the correct rules that apply to your situation. For example, if you are in the process of getting divorced but have not attained separation, you may need to supply the USCIS with a copy of the final divorce decree or annulment. Exactly how you will seek permanent residency will depend on your circumstances.