This guide is to be used in preparation for removal of conditions on residence.
Supporting documentation in evidence of bona fide marriage for joint petitions
Unless marriage with a U.S. Citizen it is more than 2 years old at the time of granting the immigrant status it results in conditional residence (CR). A conditional resident (CR) who obtained status through marriage needs to request that U.S. Citizenship and. Immigration Services (USCIS) remove the conditions on his or her residence within the 90 days preceding the date of the expiration of the alien resident card ("green card'). U.S. Petitioner and CR must file a joint petition within 90 days of the 2nd anniversary of the grant of CR status. The parties must establish that: (1) the marriage was legal where it took place; (2) the marriage has not been terminated; (3) the marriage was not entered into for the purpose of procuring residency; and (4) no fee (other than an attorney's fee to assist filing) was paid. This joint petition must be accompanied by evidence of valid marriage such as: (1) joint ownership of property; (2) lease showing joint tenancy; (3) commingling of finances; (4) birth certificates of children; (5) affidavits of third parties, etc. These days, presenting evidence of a few jointly held accounts is not going to take you very far. To increase your chances of not receiving a notice of Request for Further Evidence (RFE) or be scheduled for a second interview you need to submit sufficient evidence for each account. For instance, when submitting your joint utility bills, do not submit just last few statements, but rather 4-5 statements per each year to show a continuity; the same goes for the joint bank accounts - provide 4-5 statements per year. Make sure that the bank statements are showing activities and include payments of your joint bills. Tax Returns for each year that you filed together; car insurance policy, health/dental/vision; pension plan, life insurance. Do not forget to include witness statements from your friends and relatives but avoid generic texts. Rather make sure that they write how they know you and why they support the petition to remove conditions. Include photographs (on the back of the photographs write who is in the picture and where), if you traveled, submit your travel itineraries and hotel reservations. Create a cover page listing your evidence.
Removal of Conditions on Residence and Waiver of the Joint Petition Requirement
If parties cannot file jointly (for instance, in the event of a separation or divorce), the CR may file a waiver of the joint filing requirement. Where a dissolution of marriage is finalized prior to the 90-day preceding the date of the expiration of the green card, a waiver of the joint filing requirement can be filed earlier (no need to wait for the beginning of the 90-day period). A waiver may be granted if CR can demonstrate that:
1) Qualifying Marriage Entered into in Good Faith but Terminated Other Than Through Death of Spouse
To qualify for this waiver, you must show plentiful evidence as described in the previous section( evidence of co-mingled assets, joint lease, bank account, tax returns, affidavits from friends and family, and other pertinent evidence.)
2) Spouse Battered or Subjected to Extreme Cruelty - A waiver of the joint filing requirement is available if the qualifying marriage was entered in good faith but during the marriage the beneficiary spouse or child was battered by or was the subject of extreme cruelty perpetrated by his or her spouse and the beneficiary was not at fault in failing to meet the petitioning requirements. Under this exception, CR must show 2-prong evidence: 1) evidence of bona fide marriage (supported by the above-listed documenation) and 2) evidence of battery or extreme cruelty supported by 1) personal affidavit 2) police report 3) restraining order 4) witness affidavits 5) misc. relevant evidence.
3) Extreme Hardship if CR Is Deporte where DHS may take into account factors that arise subsequent to the alien*s entry as a conditional permanent resident.
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