Conditional permanent residency is awarded to aliens who gain permanent residence as a result of their relationship with a U.S. citizen spouse or stepparent if the qualifying marriage occurred within two years of the date permanent residence was granted. If it is discovered that the qualifying marriage was a sham marriage or a marriage entered into solely for the purpose of gaining an immigration advantage, the permanent residence will be terminated. Aside from the possibility of having his or her status terminated for this reason, the conditional permanent resident has the same rights as any other permanent resident. The alien and spouse must request to have the condition removed ninety days before the two-year anniversary of the alien’s permanent residency being granted.
If an immigrant spouse is awarded conditional permanent residency, the conditional permanent residence may be terminated within two years of the date permanent residence was granted if the marriage has ended in divorce. This rule also applies to an immigrant spouse’s child who acquires conditional permanent residency based on his parent’s marital relationship. To put it another way, the basic rule is that divorce ends conditional permanent residency. However, in this situation, the immigrant may be able to get a waiver of the termination. The immigrant may be given a waiver of the termination if he or she can demonstrate that the marriage was entered into in good faith and that the alien was not at fault for failing to file the joint petition to remove the condition. In general, it is assumed that the conditional permanent resident was not at fault for failing to file a joint petition if he can establish that the marriage was entered into in good faith. Proving that the couple had a child together and giving evidence that the couple owned property jointly are two approaches to establish that a marriage was entered into in good faith.