Filing Form I-751 Petition to Remove the Conditions of Residence when Separated or Divorced

So, you got your conditional permanent residence (conditional/temporary green card) and now it’s time
to apply for the permanent card.

In the best case scenario, a person who obtained conditional permanent residence still is in a marital
union and in marital bliss. Both, a marital union and marital bliss? . . . . Can that happen even after
years of marriage? Yes, it’s possible. All jokes aside, certainly if you are still with your spouse and
remain married, then all you have to do is document and prove that the marriage is and continues to be
bona fide (meaning you married your spouse for love and not to obtain permanent residence (a green
card). As long as you can do that, your application of Form I-751 Petition to Remove the Conditions
of Residence should be approved. Any type of evidence showing the marriage was entered for the
right reasons and showing that a residence is shared is usually considered. In fact, in some cases even
derogatory (negative) evidence can be utilized to show a shared residence. For example, in one case in
New York City where there really weren’t any joint documents, we proved a shared marital residence
by submitted a domestic incident report (a police report) where police were called due to a heated
argument between our client and her spouse. What better evidence to show that the couple lives
together, than through a police report that shows police arrived at the residence after a disturbance call.
The point is sometimes, one has to think outside the box.

What do you do if the person is separated or divorced from the spouse from whom the person obtained
the conditional residence? One thing a person should never do is to do nothing!!!!! What? . . . .
What I mean is do not just decide you will not file the application or petition to lift the conditions.
Immigration law is somewhat flexible when it comes to marriages. Naturally, not all marriages work
out. Sometimes, couples separate and sometimes they divorce. So depending on whether the applicant
is separated or divorced, one can still file the application without the other spouse participating in
the application. For example, you can file by yourself if you were battered or subject to extreme
cruelty. You can also file if you married the person in good faith, but the marriage just didn’t work
out. However, it is important to note that the eligibility for the categories which allow a person to file
without the spouse may depend on whether the couple is divorced. If you fit within the category of
individuals filing without the spouse, we suggest you hire an experienced immigration attorney to guide
you through this somewhat complicated process. But, fear not!!!! There is hope.