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Family visas and conditional statuses

You may have come to New Orleans to marry the love of your life. You entered the country on an immigrant visa and then became a conditional resident. Since obtaining your green card was based on your marriage, you will more than likely need to have your conditional status changed. Family visas issued for marriage have conditions on them because the United States government wants to make sure that you did not marry simply to gain entry into the country.

Now that you have been married and living in New Orleans for some time, you may be eligible to have those conditions removed. Within 90 days of your two-year anniversary, you more than likely need to submit an application to remove your conditional status and become a permanent resident. Both of you must file the petition, unless you have a waiver due to divorce, abuse or the death of your spouse.

Caution: If you do not file to remove your conditional status by 90 days prior to your two-year anniversary, your current status is revoked, and the proceedings become much more complicated. You could even face removal until the situation is rectified. During the application process, your status as a conditional resident can be extended until a final decision is made. This gives you time to focus on your interview (if one is necessary) without worrying about not being able to work or remaining in the country legally.

If your application is denied, you can appeal that decision, but it will be during a removal proceeding. Conditional family visas may allow people to enter the country more easily, but removing those conditions can be complex and frustrating. Whether you are just beginning the process or need help because you received a denial, you may benefit from seeking the advice and guidance of an immigration attorney.

Source: uscis.gov, "Remove Conditions on Permanent Residence Based on Marriage", Accessed on Sept. 10, 2017

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