Will living in different US cities for work affect our conditional green card status? 6 Answers as of February 17, 2011

We are yet to get married in the US, living currently together, but will start living in separate cities (>200km apart) after marriage and after me receiving a green card. We have taken the respective academic job appointments. We plan to fly to each other for a week every other week (as appointments allow). The question is whether USCIS will be happy with that or will questions to us occur immediately or while filing I-751 to remove the conditional status of the green card? What is the best way to prepare for the interview? Should we disclose our plans at the interview?

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Feldman Feldman & Associates, PC
Feldman Feldman & Associates, PC | Lynne Feldman
We have handled numerous cases successfully with similar facts. In these days of two career families, especially two professionals this is not at all uncommon. Honesty is the best policy and good documentation of your time spent together and other evidence of good faith marriage is critical in addition to the usual required documentation.

We would be happy to take your case but of course cannot file until you are actually married. We do charge for consultations but any consultation fees would then be a credit toward the fees for your case if we are retained for further work after the consultation.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/17/2011
Theresa E. Tilton, Attorney at Law
Theresa E. Tilton, Attorney at Law | Theresa E. Tilton
You are correct to be concerned that your plan may not pass the "good-faith marriage" test. Living in different cities is extremely unconventional for American married couples. There is something backwards about living together before marriage and living apart after the wedding.

USCIS investigators have been known to knock on apartment doors early in the morning to see if both spouses have spent the night under the same roof. If you want a marriage-based green card, you'd better make a plan where you can live together as husband and wife.

On the petitions and in the interviews, you are required to answer all questions truthfully. Do not volunteer information that is not asked of you.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 2/3/2011
Carlos E. Sandoval, P.A.
Carlos E. Sandoval, P.A. | Carlos Sandoval
It could be suspicious to USCIS if you start living in different addresses right after getting your green card. If that's the case you need to make sure you continue to have evidence to show the marriage is legitimate within those two years. Otherwise immigration may deny your application to remove the conditions to your residence.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 1/29/2011
Law Office of Immigration & International Trade Law
Law Office of Immigration & International Trade Law | Linda Liang
Yes, it will raise red flags. Make sure you have a plan and keep all the E-ticket copy and other evidence of travel. Also make sure to explain for how long you guys want to separate. Good luck!
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 1/28/2011
Calderón Seguin PLC
Calderón Seguin PLC | Ofelia L. Calderon
If at the time of your greencard interview, your are living together, I don't really see why you would need to discuss future plans. If at any interview (I-485 or I-751), you are living separately, you will need to explain what is going on. The important thing is to document the time you spend together and document your reasons for making these choices. Academic appointments are difficult to obtain and even harder if you want two of them in the same place. Obviously, you will have a long term plan for rejoining each other and you will need to articulate that plan at the interview. Be sure to document all of your plane or train tickets to visit each other, document your email correspondence, phone bills, and any other evidence of your mutual visits.
Answer Applies to: Virginia
Replied: 1/28/2011
    Law Office of Christine Troy
    Law Office of Christine Troy | Christine Troy
    In terms of the I-751, you will need to disclose your separation on that form. You will want to keep all information of travel and other joint documents and include declarations from each of you, family and friends to explain why you are separated and how long you will be that way. It will be a tougher case and you should expect an interview. I recommend that you use a competent immigration attorney to file in your case.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/28/2011
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