Spouses Filing to Remove 2-Year Condition on Green Card

I-751

When you receive your green card through marriage to a US citizen or a green card holder, you only get the green card for 2 years. Within 3 months before the green card expires, you and your spouse must petition the USCIS again to extend the green card. This rule was established to stop fraud in the green card process. Since obtaining a green card through a US Citizen spouse is the fastest way of getting a green card, the US Immigration Service realized that a lot of people were getting married only to get green cards, without any intention of staying married.

The Process

The I-751 petition is filed with the Immigration Service, with proof that the couple is living together, and also holding themselves out as husband and wife. You have to submit proof that you are living together, have joint assets and debts and have every intention of continuing to build a life together as a family.

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The Interview

After the USCIS reviews your filing, they also schedule an interview where both the husband and wife have to be attend. The officer can interview you together, or take you into separate rooms for the interview. They will ask you questions about how you met, where you live, and about anything that a married couple will know about each other. Our clients always ask us how they can prepare for the interview – you cannot, not really. If you are truly married, you will know the right answers. It is our job to make you comfortable enough so that you easily answer any question the officers ask you.


Some of the Common Problems Couples May Face

Over the years we have represented many families. We find that most couples are in fact happily married and only need help in preparing the petition and helping them prepare for the interview. Sometimes, due to work or family obligations, the couple has not lived or filed taxes together and also need guidance as to how to present their unique situation.

On the other hand, we have also helped couples where the marriage was not doing so well, sometimes people were already divorced, or had been separated for a while. In such cases, there are always concerns regarding domestic abuse or other criminal behavior. During those times, it was our responsibility to effectively represent our client and to help them navigate the immigration landscape. We have filed for waivers when needed and written effective letters and compiled evidence so our clients do not lose their green cards.

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