We recently got a call from a somewhat panicked young woman and her husband. This is not unusual for our office but unlike some of our calls, they actually did have a reason to panic. The husband’s conditional permanent residency had expired 6 months ago!
The background is a very common scenario. A husband or wife sponsors their spouse from overseas. They come to the U.S. and are thrilled to be together. However, if their marriage is less than 2 years old, the immigrant spouse gets conditional permanent residence.
What is conditional permanent residence? Basically, the immigrant spouse’s green card is only valid for 2 years. You are required to renew it before it expires or face losing your green card status. Even worse, the immigrant spouse can be put into deportation proceedings.
This couple had let six whole months pass. We immediately prepared the renewal form along with an argument as to why they should be allowed to submit their application at this late stage. The package was sent via overnight delivery and within two weeks, we had secured a filing receipt for the couple. With this receipt, the immigrant spouse now has proof of their legal status in the U.S. and can renew their driver’s license. They still have to wait for a final decision but for the moment, things are back on track.