If your marriage was less than two years old when you received your green card, you probably have a conditional card. While conditional green cards provide the same rights and responsibilities as permanent ones, you must apply to remove the conditions before your two-year card expires.
The purpose of conditional cards is to ensure applicants for legal permanent residency do not engage in immigration fraud. That is, at the two-year mark, you must show you continue to be in a legitimate marriage. If you have divorced your sponsoring spouse, you may still be able to remove the conditions.
A waiver of the joint-filing requirement
Usually, the sponsoring spouse and the conditional resident file a joint application to remove conditions. This application, of course, requires two signatures. If your marriage has ended, you likely must file a request to waive the joint-filing requirement.
When you file your waiver request, you must claim one or more of the following:
- You have been the victim of spousal abuse
- You would face extreme hardship if you lost your permanent residency
- Your marriage was bona fide at inception
Proof of a bona fide marriage
Bona fide marriages end all the time. If your marriage simply did not work out, you must provide proof your marriage was legitimate when it began. This proof may include the following:
- Evidence of a joint financial life between you and your spouse during the marriage
- Copies of birth certificates for any children you share with your ex-spouse
- Affidavits from friends and relatives who know you and your ex-spouse
Ultimately, if you can convince an immigration officer your marriage was genuine, you are likely to improve your chances of receiving a 10-year green card.