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Removal of Conditions for the Whole Family

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Do children who receive a conditional green card have to get those conditions removed?

Hi, I'm Jim Hacking, Immigration Lawyer, practicing law throughout the United States at our offices in St. Louis, Missouri, San Diego, California, and our nation's capital, Washington, DC.

So viewers of our videos understand that when you marry and get a green card if you've been married less than two years when your green card arrives, you will receive what's called a conditional green card. And at the end of those two years, you have to file an I-751, a petition to remove conditions on the green card. Now, sometimes when a U.S. citizen marries a foreign national, that foreign national has a child or two. So, let's do a hypothetical situation.

So we have John, a U.S. citizen. John marries Maria, who is a foreign national, let's say she's from Columbia. And Maria has a daughter, and her name is Ana. So we have John, Maria, and Ana. And Maria is in the United States with Ana. They're on a visit visa. And they end up getting married at the end of that visa, and they apply for a green card based on the marriage to John. John's now the stepfather of Ana and the spouse of Maria, and they both apply for green cards.

Well, if on the day the green cards are approved, Maria and John have only been married, let's say a year and a half, then Maria will get a conditional green card. Ana will also get a conditional green card. The child will receive a conditional green card of her own. So they'll have to file a separate 45 for Ana. And if Ana's under 14, she won't have to get fingerprinted, but she'll also receive a conditional green card if the cases are approved.

And so now we have Maria and Ana with these conditional green cards. And the question is, well, what happens if mom never files for removal of conditions? Or the other question is, does Ana have to file her own I-751? And the answer to that question is yes, both Maria and Ana, at the end of the two years, have to both file an I-751 petition to remove conditions. And they're going to have to demonstrate that the marriage between John and Maria is ongoing.

So it's not just a matter of Maria filling to remove conditions, Ana herself is going to have to file to remove conditions, pay that filing fee and go through that 751 process. Now, it'll all piggyback on the marriage between Maria and John. And if Maria and John's marriage is still ongoing and the 751 from Maria's approved, most likely the 751 for Ana is also going to be approved.

So Maria and Ana will not be able to apply for citizenship unless they get those conditions removed and not until they get those conditions removed. They can apply if the timing is right, but they won't get it approved unless the 751 is also approved. So you can't miss that step. And Ana, the daughter, can't just rely on mom getting the conditions removed. Ana herself has to get the conditions removed.

So the way it works is you get the green card. You wait the two years. At that one-year and nine-month mark, Maria and Ana would both file I-751s. John would co-sign them, assuming the marriage is still ongoing, and then they would submit marital evidence demonstrating that the marriage is ongoing and that the couple is still together.

So that answers that. Maria and Ana both have to file 751s. The parent and the child both have to file 751s, and both have to have the conditions on their lawful permanent residence removed.

Hope this helps you out. If you have any questions about conditional green cards or about the I-751 petition to remove conditions, give us a call, 314-961-8200. You can email us, [email protected]. Be sure to join us in our Facebook group, which is called Immigrant Home. And if you like this video, we ask that you please share it out on social and that you subscribe to our YouTube channel so that you get updates whenever we make videos just like this one. And then don't forget on Tuesdays and Thursdays, usually at noon central time, you'll find me live in Immigrant Home and in our YouTube channel answering as many of your immigration law-related questions as I can in one hour. Thanks a lot and I hope to see you there.

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