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Removal of Conditions

A conditional green card is a temporary document that is only valid for two years. Due to this, an immigrant…

A conditional green card is a temporary document that is only valid for two years. Due to this, an immigrant will need to file a petition to remove the conditions on their green card to become a permanent resident of the United States. The petition must be filed no later than 90 days before their conditional green card is set to expire. Bear in mind that unlike a permanent green card, a conditional green card cannot be renewed. If the conditions are not removed before expiration, then the immigrant will lose residency status, and deportation proceedings can begin.

Who qualifies for a conditional Green Card?

Conditional permanent residence is given to two types of immigrants. The first and most common type of conditional green card is a marriage-based green card. These cards are issued to immigrants who qualify for permanent resident status based on marriage to a U.S. citizen, and who have been married to their spouse for two years or less. The second type of conditional green card is for entrepreneurs and investors.

A conditional permanent resident basically has the same rights as a regular permanent resident since the former can still work in the U.S. and travel at will. Additionally, the time that an immigrant spends as a conditional permanent resident will still count towards the total time they need to have spent as a permanent resident before they can gain citizenship.

Removing conditions on a Green Card

Conditional green cards are only valid for two years. For marriage cases, the main reason is to help prevent fraud by requiring those in short-term marriages to provide evidence that their marriage relationship is genuine. Before an immigrant’s conditional resident status expires, they must prove that they did not use their marriage to circumvent U.S. immigration laws. In order to do so, they must file a Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence.

If an immigrant and their spouse are still married after two years, then they will need to file a joint petition for Form I-751 and provide copies of documents that help prove that their marriage was made in good faith, rather than to circumvent immigration laws. This can include as many documents as necessary to establish the circumstances of their relationship and prove that it is genuine.

If an immigrant has gotten a divorce or is in the process of filing for divorce or otherwise have dissolved their marriage to the American spouse before their conditional permanent resident status has expired, they may still be able to successfully apply for permanent resident status. To do so, they will need to provide evidence that they entered the marriage in good faith, but that it ended for legitimate reasons. They will also need to include their spouse’s death certificate (if applicable), their divorce decree, and information regarding why their relationship ended, such as abuse suffered at the hands of their spouse, as an example. It is also possible to file for a waiver of the joint filing requirement if the immigrant’s removal from the U.S. would result in extreme hardship, for which they will also need to provide evidence.

Obtaining permanent residency status in the U.S. is difficult under the best circumstances. The attorneys at the U.S. Immigration Law Counsel can ensure that your application to remove the conditions on your Green Card is properly filed, with all the required documentation. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

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