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Marriage to a US Citizen

When an alien marries a United States citizen and is granted lawful permanent residence, the alien will be granted a conditional resident status.

Such status is valid for two years from the date of the approval of the immigrant visa application or adjustment of status. The same status is accorded to a step-child, if any, of a US citizen if the marriage of the step-parent to the natural parent is less than two years when the alien obtains lawful permanent resident status. Please note that a step-child may only be considered as a “child” of a US citizen if the step-relationship occurred before the 18th birthday of the child and immigration benefits as an Immediate Relative is sought while the step-child is less than 21 years of age or considered as such under the Child Status Protection Act.

Before the termination of the conditional resident status, the alien must file a Petition to Remove the Conditions of Residence or Form I-751 to the USCIS in order to become a permanent resident. The alien remains eligible to have the conditions removed even if the marriage, which served as the basis of the immigrant petition has been legally terminated, provided that the alien is able to prove that the marriage was entered into good faith. Immediate relatives of US citizens must have their own visa petitions filed separately per alien. Only certain preference categories for family-based petitions have derivative beneficiaries.

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