If you are an immigrant who has married a U.S. citizen, you are likely to have received permanent residency on a conditional basis, which means that it has been less than two years since your marriage occurred. As a result, your residency will expire two years from the date that you received it, unless you take action to remove the conditions from your residency.
To remove the conditions from your residency, you must file the proper application with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) 90 days prior to the expiration of your residency. This application form that you must file is Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions of Residence; you and your U.S. citizen spouse must sign and jointly submit this form. In order to do so, you must provide evidence that you are still married and that you are in a bona fide marriage.
If you have divorced or your marriage has been annulled within two years of receiving your conditional residency, you still will need to file a Form I-751. However, you also will need to ask for a waiver of the joint filing requirement. The most common reasons to ask for this waiver include divorce after a bona fide marriage, abuse or battery by your spouse during a bona fide marriage, and a showing of extreme hardship if you must return to your country of origin. If you can provide evidence of a bona fide marriage, then USCIS often will grant your waiver. However, if evidence shows that your marriage was merely a business transaction designed to avoid immigration laws, or that you were the cause of your divorce because you committed adultery or abandoned your spouse, then USCIS may deny your request for a waiver.
If USCIS denies your request to remove the conditions from your residency, for whatever reason, or refuses to waive the joint filing requirement, you are likely to become subject to deportation. The immigration attorneys of Peek & Toland have the experience that you need when you are facing deportation charges. We will determine the facts and evidence that are relevant to your case, evaluate your options, and help you decide the best course of action for your situation. It is our goal to place you in the best position possible to achieve your goals. Contact our Texas immigration attorneys at our office today and learn how we can assist you and your family through this difficult situation.