Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram

    K1 – Petition for Removal of Condition/Citizenship From Marriage to a US Citizen

    Petition For Removal Of Condition

    The first green card received will only be valid as such for two years. Again, US Immigration want to keep tabs on this green card holder to ensure that the marriage was genuine. Even if the marriage was genuine, if it does not stand the test of time (two years) then the alien will not be able to stay in the US unless they qualify in some other way.

    About 90-days prior to the second anniversary your attorney will need to send in documentation to USCIS asking them to remove the two-year conditional status of the green card. Documentation will include evidence joint bills, joint banking and evidence of a sustained life to together.

    If the marriage ended due to abuse, then the alien who suffered that abuse must obtain medical and police reports to prove the marriage ended for that reason. Where this can be successfully proved the alien can maintain their green card status permanently even though the marriage may have lasted only a short time.

    In either case your attorney will contact you or vice versa at least six months before the second anniversary so that we have plenty of time to have your case comprehensively prepared.

    Citizenship From Marriage To A US Citizen

    On the third anniversary of your green card status through marriage you will be able to apply for US citizenship. In fact you can submit your application a month or two early.

    Actually, the rules for acquiring citizenship this way are a little more involved so I’ll explain them this way.

    In order to qualify for citizenship under the three-year rule you need to show that you have spent a total of three years physically present in the US. So any holidays outside of the US during that time will be discounted from the total. If you have spent a total of six weeks outside the US in the intervening three years then you would have to wait an additional six weeks before your case would be ripe for citizenship.

    Again, your attorney will calculate these dates with you and make sure that you are notified at the earliest possibility.

    Until you are a citizen, your green card status is very much a privilege, and it can be lost for a number of reasons. Admittedly it’s not easy to lose your green card status but if can be lost. For example, if you were convicted for a crime that had a maximum sentence of more than one year, even if you don’t serve time, it could put your green card at risk. Whilst people don’t envisage themselves ever robbing a bank, which is a good thing, it is possible, hopefully remotely, that you could commit a crime. At the time of writing this guide I had an enquiry from someone who had been found guilty of copying CD’s and was ultimately deported in 2005. How about a driving conviction where serious injury resulted or death resulted? This could happen to anyone. So it really makes sense to become a citizen.

    One of the positive sides to becoming a US citizen is the fact that you can in turn sponsor your brothers, sisters or parents into the US.

    I hope you have found this guide interesting and I look forward to working with you on all the stages of this exciting journey.

    Chris M. Ingram, LL.M., ESQ.
    Attorney at Law