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The Two-Step Procedure Under the Immigration Marriage Fraud Amendments


I recently marrided with a U.S. citizen husband. What are the procedures for me to get U.S. Green Card?


For those persons without permanent residency in the U.S., A marriage with U.S. citizen also presents an opportunity to obtain U.S. permanent residency. Because concerns that some persons married to United States citizens merely to obtain U.S. permanent residence status, a two-step procedure under the Immigration Marriage Fraud Amendments (IMFA) was set up to ensure such immigration status was given to those only in marriages that are bona-fide, and not entered into simply for immigration purposes.

In the step one, if a person is petitioned by the U.S. citizen spouse within 2 years after married, the alien spouse is given only conditional permanent residence. Such conditional permanent residence status lasts for 2 years from the date on which it is granted.

In the step two, the alien spouse needs to remove the conditional permanent residence status. Removal of the conditional status is initiated by filing Form I-751 Joint Petition to Remove Condition to Permanent Residence. The joint petition provides an opportunity for USCIS to inquire as to the legitimacy of the marriage after conditional permanent residence is granted. 

Therefore, documentation evidencing that the marriage was entered into for bona-fide reasons should be submitted as part of the joint petition. It must be filed with the USCIS service center in the 90 days immediately prior to the second anniversary of the granting of conditional permanent residence. 




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