Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Regarding Removal of Conditions from your Two Year Conditional Green Card

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Questions and Answers:

Why is there a “conditional” green card and what are the “conditions”?

  • The USCIS wants to be sure that the marriage on which a green card is based was a real one and not just for immigration purposes. They will require that you prove that the marriage was then, and still is, a valid marriage in order to remove the conditions on the card. For all other intents and purposes the conditional card has essentially the same rights and privileges as a full 10 year card. If the green card issuance was based on other than marriage other rules apply; call me for details and a free consultation

Can my conditional card be renewed?

  • No, you cannot renew it and if conditions are not removed on time then the card expires and you are out of status and subject to removal from the U.S.

When can I remove the conditions from the green card?

  • The petition to remove the conditions from a conditional green card must be filed in between the 21st month and 24th month after the issuance date of the conditional card

What happens if I do not remove conditions

  • your green card expires and your Lawful Permanent Resident (LPF) status is revoked. You are then subject to removal from the U.S. and or deportation

Why is my Lawful Permanent Residency (LPF) conditional rather than for a full 10 years?

  • As a general rule if you received your green card based on marriage, and you had been married less than two years when you applied for the green card, your green card will be conditional and if married more than two years at issuance, then it will be a 10 year card

What is the difference between a CR-1 and an IR-1 marriage visa and how does it effect my green card? 

As a general rule the consulate or embassy which issues a marriage visa will issue a CR-1 marriage visa to a person married less than 2 years and an IR-1 visa to a person married more than two years before issuance.  When you come to the U.S. using these visas those using a CR-1 visa will be given a two year conditional green card and those using an IR-1 visa are given a ten year green card.  

What if I get divorced, or my spouse dies, before the two years are up; can I then obtain a new 10 years card?

  • Yes, you will still have to prove the initial validity of the marriage as of the time of the issuance of the conditional card and will have to prove the basis for the divorce and that you continue to meet requirements of permanent residency.

If I remove the conditions and receive a new 10 year card can I lose my 10 year card before it expires in 10 years?

  • Yes, under some circumstances the USCIS will consider you to have abandoned your green card (either conditional or 10 year cards) and it can be terminated

How do I “abandon” a green card?

  • Circumstance vary from person to person but as a general overview of the rules regarding maintaining or "abandoning" your Permanent Residency see below:

    Conditional Permanent Resident Status

    • Under the terms of Section 216 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) you may become a lawful permanent resident on a conditional basis based on marriage to a U.S citizen or other permanent resident.

    • There are other ways for a person to become a permanent resident (investment, entrepreneurship, etc.) which may also be “conditional”; call to discuss details.

    The most common way to lose your legal permanent resident status (LPF) is through acts considered to indicate your intent to abandon your permanent resident status. This can be true even if you do not really intend to abandon the permanent residency and or give up your green card.  You can just "stumble into it" by committing acts which may indicate this intent to abandon even if you do not. 

    You may be found to have abandoned your legal permanent residency status if you:

    • Move to another country, intending to live there permanently. Intent to live permanently outside the U.S. is generally indicated by absences of up to six continuous months, absences totalling six months or more, moving family and businesses out of the U.S. permanently, and other such acts. There is no fixed time which does or does not show “intent to abandon”; the USCIS will take all surrounding facts and circumstances into consideration, but an absence of 6 months, or repeated lengthy absences are very likely to raise a red flag and may cause the Service to treat you as out of status and your green card abandoned and revoked.

    • Some factors surrounding an absence which may indicate that you did not “intend to abandon” your permanent residency are:

      • The reason for your trip;
      • Evidence showing how long you intended to be out of the United States on that trip or on a series of trips;
      • Any other circumstances regarding your absence; and
      • Any events that could have contributed to you being absence for longer than originally thought, especially if they were beyond your control (death, illness, etc.)

      Note: If you, as a permanent resident, are going to be outside the U.S. for an extended period of time it is a very good idea to obtain a re-entry permit from USCIS before you leave, or a returning resident visa (SB-1) from the U.S. consulate while abroad; these may assist you in showing that you intended only a temporary absence.  Call Amerilawgroup for further information.  

      Note: another trap absent permanent residents often fall into is failing to file income tax returns while living outside of the United States for any period; even if you do not owe any tax. *Declaring yourself a “nonimmigrant” on your U.S. tax returns is another obvious mistake to avoid if you want to continue to be a permanent resident.

OUR PLATINUM SERVICE PROVIDES:

Free confidential phone consultation with our immigration attorney, He/she will work with you and advise you each step of the way.

Full forms and documentation preparation.

Provide full guidance and assistance in assembling personal information and documentation required for the filing of the initial USCIS forms (I-751 Parts1-7 and all required addendums).

Assistance with Translations as required. In most cases we can tell you how to get this done without cost

Assistance with Joint filings, Single/divorce filings, or post death filings.

Establishing proof and validity of your relationship as it existed at the time of the issuance of the Conditional Permanent Residency (LPF - Conditional) and up to the time of filing for removal of conditions. The USCIS does not take your word for it, you must prove that this relationship was valid, and not for the purpose of immigration, when you entered into it and that it remained so up to the time of applying for conditions removal