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One less hurdle for immigrants who got green cards through marriage — even after divorce


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Filed: O-2 Visa Country: Sweden



 NOVEMBER 23, 2019 02:03

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has updated how it handles some conditional permanent residence permits issued to immigrants who marry U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents.

Green cards issued to foreign spouses are normally conditional, and are only valid for two years. After that time, immigrants can obtain permanent cards if the couple proves they did not marry just to get around U.S. immigration law.

But sometimes immigrants do not apply for a process known as a petition to “Remove Conditions on Permanent Residence Based on Marriage,” either because they have divorced or they simply forgot.


Up to now, if that happened and the immigrants wanted to apply for U.S. residence again because of a second marriage or other eligibility categories, they had to wait until an immigration judge affirmed the termination of their conditional permanent resident status (CPR) before they could file a new application.


“Because USCIS often did not send the information to the courts, these immigrants wound up in a terrible limbo: unable to renew their old residence or apply for a new one,” said attorney Elina Santana, a member of the South Florida branch of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA).


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