All You Need To Know About United States Conditional Residence Through Marriage

In 1985 Marriage Fraud Act, which established the conditional residence system in the United States. In this video, I will discuss everything you need to know about conditional residence and the best ways to remove those conditions to become a permanent resident.

Who is Subject to the Marriage Fraud Act?

Congress passed the marriage fraud act because it was concerned about fraud in the US immigration system. The Act applies to any application where the United States Citizen or Permanent Resident Petitioner have been married to the Beneficiary for less than 2 years at the time of adjudication of the permanent residence petition.

Example: Allison enters the United States on April 1, 2020 on a visitor visa. She had been dating Bob remotely for two years. He had visited her several times in her country. The couple gets married on May 1, 2020. They apply for her permanent residence and is received by the Service on June 1, 2020. If her application gets adjudicated before May 1, 2022, then she will receive a conditional resident card. If her petition gets adjudicated after that date, then she will receive her permanent residence without conditions.

How Do I Remove the Conditions on My Residence?

A conditional resident must apply for removal of conditions within 90 days of the expiration of the conditional permanent residence. This application could be filed jointly with the United States citizen or under an exception, which will be discussed below.

What Happens if I Get Divorced?

The Immigration & Naturalization Act recognizes that not all marriages last forever. So, in cases of divorce, the conditional permanent resident may apply under several waivers available in these petitions. These waivers are available:

  • The marriage was in good faith, but it was terminated
  • The US Petitioner had died since the initial application
  • The Beneficiary entered the marriage in good faith, and she was subjected to extreme cruelty
  • That her children would suffer extreme hardship if she were to be removed

A Beneficiary does not have to meet all waiver grounds but must meet at least one. Moreover, if the applicant is applying under the waiver, he/she does not have to wait until 90 days before the expiration of the conditional residence and can file at any time.

Can My Husband Cancel My Conditional Residence?

A Petitioner can not “cancel” a petition to remove conditions. He or she can remove his or her sponsorship of the petition and the petition may be converted to a waiver application. An applicant can make subsequent applications for waivers and may allege all waivers at the same time if he or she qualifies.

What Happens if My Petition to Remove Conditions is denied?

If a joint petition is denied, the case would be referred to the immigration court with jurisdiction over the case. The immigration judge may remove the conditions in removal proceedings after a successful trial, or if the Applicant files another application with the Service and the Service approves such a petition.

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