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In the past, immigrants who married US citizens or legal permanent residents—K3 visa holders who obtained green cards—would have to re-apply for an extension to their residency after 2 years of residing in the US or if they got a divorce.

That’s because traditionally green cards that have been granted to immigrant spouses of US citizens are considered “conditional”.

After the two-year period, the spouse can gain a permanent green card if they can prove the marriage was legitimate.

A recent change by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) states that immigrant spouses no longer need to wait for an immigration judge to strike down the conditions of their green card before applying for permanent residency without conditions.

This means that even divorced spouses or spouses that re-marry a different US citizen or permanent resident don’t have to suffer long waits before having their green card status re-affirmed by USCIS.

Put simply, before the recent changes, immigrant spouses were often caught in the unfortunate situation of not being able to renew their old residence as well as being unable to apply for new permanent residency, in essence making them illegal immigrants during that unsure time period.

Under the change, immigrant spouses even who have gotten a divorce can apply for adjustment of status without waiting for a judge to rule on their old one.

The US State Department recently closed its USCIS field office in Bangkok. All immigration petitions will now be handled at the US Embassy.

Read the full story here.

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