If you have been married for less than 2 years when your permanent resident application is approved, you will receive a conditional permanent resident card. To remove the conditions, you must file a petition and submit evidence that your marriage was entered in good faith, and not for the purpose of evading U.S. immigration laws, within the 90 days before your card expires.
We recently talked about the process of filing a Petition to Remove the Conditions of Residence, form I-751, jointly with your spouse if you and your spouse are still married. However, you can still apply to waive the joint filing requirement if you are no longer married or are unable to apply with your spouse to remove the conditions on your residence.
According to USCIS, you may apply for a waiver if:
- Your deportation or removal would result in extreme hardship;
- You entered into your marriage in good faith, and not to evade immigration laws, but the marriage ended by annulment or divorce, and you were not at fault in failing to file a timely petition; or
- You entered into your marriage in good faith, and not to evade immigration laws, but during the marriage you or your child were battered by, or subjected to extreme cruelty committed by your U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse, and you were not at fault in failing to file a joint petition.
Therefore, you can still apply to remove the conditions on your permanent resident status if you are no longer married to your spouse or if you have been battered or abused by your spouse by requesting that the joint filing requirement be waived. Under those circumstances, you can apply to remove the conditions at any point after you become a conditional permanent resident, but you must apply before you are removed from the U.S. You must also submit evidence that deportation or removal from the U.S. would result in extreme hardship.
If you requested a waiver while legally separated or in a pending divorce proceeding, you must submit a copy of the final divorce decree upon request by USCIS.
If you filed a form I-751 petition jointly with your spouse but are now legally separated or in a pending divorce proceeding, you must submit a copy of the final divorce decree upon request by USCIS along with a statement requesting that your joint filing petition be treated as a waiver.
Please contact a skilled immigration attorney for more details or if you have any questions.