Many of my clients have obtained their green cards (legal permanent residency) via marriage to a United States Citizen. Whenever one of these clients consults with me, an immigration lawyer in Miami, FL, I always make sure to remind them that their permanent residence status is conditional if it is based on a marriage that was less than 2 years old on the day the petitioner was given permanent residence. In other words, you are given conditional resident status on the day you are lawfully admitted to the United States on an immigrant visa or adjustment of your status to permanent residence.
I have covered permanent residency via marriage to a US citizen before, but it bears repeating that your status is conditional, because you must prove that you did not get married to evade the immigration laws of the United States. In order to remove these conditions your Miami immigration lawyer will file Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence.
Your Miami immigration lawyer will likely inform you that when filing Form I-751, Petition to Remove the Conditions on Residence, there needs to be information included with the petition demonstrating that your marriage was made in good faith. As such, you should submit as much proof as possible that your marriage was genuine and not made to circumvent immigration laws.
Below are some examples of the types of evidence that US immigration authorities are looking for to prove that the two of you have shared a life together. Please note – this list is by no means exhaustive. If you have any questions as to what constitutes “compelling” evidence, you should consult with a Miami immigration lawyer.
- Birth certificates (if you have children together) – If you have and your spouse have children together, obtain copies of birth certificates of your children (with both your and your spouse’s name listed). If you do not have children, do not fret – the USCIS does not expect all couples to start a family
- Joint bank accounts/Joint ownership of property – If you have joint bank accounts or own property jointly, you will want to include this documentation in your application. This includes checking/savings account statements, investment accounts, credit card statements, etc.
- Joint tax returns
- Utility bills
- Membership in religious organizations, teams, or clubs
- Health insurance/Auto insurance – If you and your spouse are covered by the same insurance plan and/or under the same auto insurance plan, this should also be included in your application.
- Advanced directives – If you have any instruments prepared relating to your estate (wills, trusts, health care surrogate) and your spouse is named, you will want to include this on your application as well.
- Vacation pictures
- Wedding/Honeymoon Photographs
- Common Last Name
- Affidavits/Personal Statement – These can be from family members or close friends, and should attest to the fact that your marriage and relationship are genuine.
If you would like more information on removing conditions on your residency, please contact Miami immigration lawyer Michael G. Murray, Esq. at (305) 895-2500 or visit our website at www.mmurraylaw.com.