From Temporary Green Card to Permanent Green Card: Conditional Permanent Residence

Thứ Tư, 02 Tháng Ba 201611:48(Xem: 19038)
From Temporary Green Card to Permanent Green Card: Conditional Permanent Residence

Vietnamese women who come to the US to join their US citizen/resident husbands face a number of challenges. They must learn to get by without the comfort and support of their family in Vietnam, as well as without Vietnamese society as they knew it in Vietnam. They must learn how to adjust to daily life when living full time with their sponsoring spouse. In addition to that, there are the challenges of learning a new language and adapting to a new culture in the US. In view of all these, it is not surprising that some relationships face serious problems during the first two years of married life in the US.

If the wife arrives in the US from Vietnam less than two years after the marriage, then she will get a Conditional or Temporary Green Card. When she is ready to apply for a permanent Green Card after two years of residence in the US, the couple must be ready to prove that they have a bona fide relationship.

The sponsor and his spouse must use the form I-751 to apply together to remove the conditions on the spouse's residence so that she can get her permanent Green Card.

What happens when the marriage goes bad before the permanent green card is obtained?

If the foreign spouse can provide proof that she has been battered or abused by the sponsor, she may apply to obtain her permanent Green Card at any time during the two years that she is a conditional resident.

If the marriage fails completely and the couple separate or divorce, or if the marriage is annulled, the wife can still get her permanent Green Card if she can show that the marriage was entered into in good faith and with a genuine desire for a marital relationship and not just for immigration purposes.

More than half of the marriages in the US end in divorce. Any CIS employee knows that, and even the CIS officers’ manual says that “sometimes even bona fide marriages fall apart in less than two years”. However, the burden remains with the foreign spouse to show that she entered the marriage with the hopes of a long lasting, bona fide relationship. Did the couple intend to establish a life together at the time they were married? That is the question that the CIS officer will be focusing on.

If the couple are still together and filing the I-751 jointly, then everything will be fine, right?
No, it is very possible that everything will not be fine. When couples are interviewed separately by a CIS officer, it is easy for the officer to find inconsistencies or conflicts in their testimonies simply because people have different memories of events. And, if the couple does not follow the norms of a typical American marriage, they cannot expect the CIS officer to be aware of cultural differences that prevent this.

Even if the couple discusses their lives together before a CIS interview, and agrees on all of the elements in a timeline, it is still possible for the officer to uncover inconsistencies, simply because people remember things and describe things in different ways.

Whether the wife is filing the I-751 alone or with the husband, CIS often asks for additional evidence of the relationship, or even tells the applicant that they intend to deny her permanent Green Card application. This may be disturbing but in fact it gives the lady a chance to provide additional or expanded explanations in order to rebut the specific objections that CIS has raised.
Q.1. If the wife brings dependent children with her from Vietnam, can they be included in the I-751 petition to get their permanent Green Cards?
A.1. Yes, the dependent children can be included if they came with their mother to the US, or arrived in the US within 90 days of their mother’s arrival.

Q.2. What happens if the I-751 is not filed before the end of the 2 year Conditional Residence period?
A.2. In some rare cases, if failure to file was through no fault of your own, you may file your petition late with a written explanation and request that USCIS excuse the late filing. Failure to file before the expiration date may be excused if you demonstrate that the delay was due to extraordinary circumstances beyond your control and that the length of the delay was reasonable. One example of this would be if the husband prevented the wife from filing the I-751 or if he did not make sure the I-751 was filed on time.

Q.3. In some cases, CIS may doubt the relationship because the couple does not have a joint bank account or credit card accounts or other evidence of “financial co-mingling”. How can the couple explain this to CIS?
A.3. CIS regulations do not actually require a joint bank account. It is only one of many possible kinds of evidence that is acceptable. It is appropriate to point out to CIS that in such cases the couple preferred the husband to manage the couple’s finances.

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