I am married to a US citizen and hold a conditional GC. We have separated recently but not yet divorced. My 90-day window to file for lifting of conditions is this Novem ber. What is my best course of action right now?
3 Answers from Attorneys
The best choice is to delay any divorce for one year and both of you sign the application to remove the condition on residence. By doing it this way, you should get your 10 year permanent residency card in about 6 months if you include sufficient evidence of a real marriage. USCIS does check the court records for divorce filings. If a divorce complaint is filed before your application is approved, then your application would be denied or converted to a good faith marriage application.
On the other hand, if a divorce complaint will definitely be filed within the next 6 months, then you should file a the application to remove condition on residence with your signature only and argue that you did have a real marriage. However, if you do this, then you had better provide plenty of evidence of a real marriage for the past 2 years and there will be a USCIS interview for you in about 9 to 12 months where you must explain why the marriage failed and why you had a real marriage. You should get as much documents as possible to prove that you had a real marriage.
Respectfully, I disagree. You must file the I-751 regardless of the stability of the marriage. Otherwise, by operation of law, your status is revoked and you're placed in removal/deportation proceedings. If the marriage is not viable and the other petitioner will not sign, then file your divorce but also file the I-751 with just your signature. There was a policy memorandum issued a year or two ago about how USCIS will handle these types of filings and how to do it without deportation proceedings.
You must file the I-751. Then you will have an interview. However, being separated or divorced does not mean that the condition won't be removed. You just need to prove that the marriage was bona fide when entered into.
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