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DuPage County immigration conditional residence attorneyWhen a U.S. citizen is married to someone from another country, they may apply for a spouse visa which will allow their partner to live and work in the United States. However, some spouses are only eligible to reside in the country on a conditional basis, and couples should be aware of how to remove the conditions on residence and avoid the possible deportation of an immigrant spouse.

Conditional Residence Visas

A spouse who has been married to a U.S. citizen for less than two years is eligible for a conditional residence (CR1) visa. A citizen can apply for this type of visa for their spouse by filing a Petition for Alien Relative (Form I-130). If the alien spouse has already been lawfully admitted to the United States, they can also file an Application to Register Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status (Form I-485). A conditional residence visa allows a spouse to live and work in the U.S. for two years, after which they must apply to have the conditions removed.

Removing the Conditions on Residence

Spouses can apply to remove the conditions on their permanent residence if they were married in good faith (that is, they did not get married with the goal of evading U.S. immigration laws) and:

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DuPage County immigration attorney spouse immigrant visaWhen family members are separated by international borders, they will want to do everything they can to be together. This is especially true for married couples or people who are planning to get married. United States citizens or lawful permanent residents who are planning to have their spouse immigrate to the country should be sure to understand their options for obtaining visas and permanent resident status.

Visas for Spouses of U.S. Citizens

To begin the process of obtaining an immigrant visa, a U.S. Citizen who lives in the U.S. and is legally married to a non-citizen must file a Petition for Alien Relative (Form I-130) with the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). If the spouse is already living in the U.S., an Application to Register Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status (Form I-485) must also be filed.

If spouses have been married for more than two years, they are eligible for an Immediate Relative visa (IR1). If they have been married for less than two years, they are eligible for a Conditional Residence visa (CR1). Spouses who receive a CR1 visa are allowed to live in the U.S. on a conditional basis for two years. Within the 90 days before a spouse’s conditional residence expires, the spouses must file a Petition to Remove the Conditions of Residence (Form I-751). If they fail to do so, the immigrant spouse may be subject to removal from the country. 

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