Many people who go through the adjustment of status process believe that the second they are married, they will be entitled to permanent resident status. If the marriage is bona fide and not a sham marriage entered into for immigration purposes only, and if you supply sufficient documentation to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), you are likely to eventually obtain lawful permanent resident status. However, you should know that there is a two-year period that can be termed a “waiting period” to prove that the marriage is in fact valid. During this period of time, the non-citizen spouse will have what is called “conditional” permanent resident status.
Conditional permanent resident status is obtained once USCIS approves the application to adjust status based on marriage. The non-citizen is then able to fully work in the United States and is able to travel outside of the country for relatively short periods of time (i.e., less than six months). The two-year period is a way for USCIS to confirm that a bona fide marriage exists and that the couple intends for the marriage to continue. Two years from the date you are granted conditional permanent resident status after applying for adjustment of status based on marriage, the condition will be removed and you will be deemed a lawful permanent resident.
Do I Have to Provide Additional Documentation to Have the Condition Removed?
Once the two-year conditional period has concluded, you may be required to submit documentation that the marriage has been bona fide during the two-year duration. Some of the documents you may need to produce include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Lease agreement or mortgage document with both spouses names listed to prove you live together;
- Utility bills with both spouses names;
- Joint bank account statements;
- Joint credit card statements;
- Photographs with family members over the past two years;
- Statements from family members and friends attesting to their belief that the marriage is bona fide; and
- Pay-stubs to prove the spouses work in the same area (for example, if paystubs show spouses work in two states that are far apart from each other, this may be evidence that the couple has not been living together)
The process of having the condition removed is not nearly as stressful as the initial process for obtaining conditional permanent resident status after you apply for adjustment of status based on marriage. For example, you likely will not be required to go through an additional interview process, unless USCIS believes further clarification is needed after you submit the required documents. Further, if you and your spouse move, be sure to update your address with USCIS. This is very important to prove that you and your spouse have continued your bona fide marriage during the two-year period.
Contact Geygan & Geygan, Ltd. Today to Schedule Your Free Consultation
The process of becoming a lawful permanent resident in the United States after applying to adjust status based on marriage is a process that requires complete compliance with United States immigration law. Having the “condition” removed such that you are deemed a lawful permanent resident is the final step to obtaining a green card that is valid and will enable you to eventually apply for citizenship through naturalization. In order to ensure you are doing what is necessary to receive lawful permanent resident status, you should speak with the experienced immigration attorneys at Geygan & Geygan, Ltd. Our attorneys will streamline the adjustment of status process so that you are fully aware of what to expect. To schedule your free consultation with our immigration attorneys, contact Geygan & Geygan, Ltd. today by calling 513-791-1673.