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Permanent vs. Conditional Residency

In the United States, if you marry a citizen or lawful permanent resident, you may be able to secure permanent residency for yourself. Permanent residency is important because it allows you to live and work in the United States. Permanent residency also allows you to eventually apply for citizenship.

Since the risk of immigration fraud is present with marriages, and since married individuals are only able to seek permanent residency if they enter into a genuine marriage, there are some conditions placed on residency obtained through marriage in some cases. If you need assistance navigating permanent vs. conditional residency through marriage or if you have concerns, contact Morales & Sparks to speak with an immigration attorney.

Conditional Permanent Resident vs. Permanent Resident: What Kind of Status Will I Get Through Marriage?

If you marry a lawful permanent resident or a citizen of the United States and your marriage happened less than two years before you adjusted status or entered the country as a permanent resident, you will have conditional residency. This means you will have the same duties and rights as any other permanent resident, but your status will not be permanent. As you near your two year anniversary of conditional residency, you will need to apply to remove the conditions on your permanent residency. You must file for this during the 90 days prior to the expiration of your green card. If you fail to file to have conditions removed, you may face removal proceedings.

If you have been late in applying to remove conditions, contact an immigration attorney. You may have options. For example, you may be able to show the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) there were extenuating circumstances which led to the late filing.

To remove conditions from residency, it is important that you file form I-751 in time. Once USCIS gets your petition, you will be sent a receipt. It’s important to keep this receipt as it proves you have legal status in the country while your petition is being reviewed.

When Do I Need an Attorney?

Getting conditional permanent residence through marriage is common and some couples go through the process without an issue. However, there may be many concerns which can arise before you become a resident. If you are a conditional resident and your marriage ends, for example, you may wonder how this will impact your petition. If you filed late, did not receive your receipt, have had the authenticity of your marriage questioned or have run into other issues, contact Morales & Sparks. Our law offices in Austin and Georgetown and San Antonio, Texas, are ready to help.

Julie Sparks, who heads the immigration division at Morales & Sparks, is known for finding those small details that can mean the difference between a winnable case and an unwinnable one. Whether you are facing removal proceedings or have concerns about removing conditions on your permanent residency, Morales & Sparks is ready to address a variety of immigration queries. Our legal team has handled many types of immigration cases and we always treat our clients with great respect, so do not hesitate to reach out to Morales & Sparks today.