Removal of Conditions from a 2 year Conditional Green Card ( US Lawful Permanent Resident or an LPR)
Suppose you are a foreign national whose status as a permanent resident with a green card is based on marriage to a US citizen, and
Suppose you have been married to that US citizen for less than two years when you first arrive in the US, or
Suppose when you are first approved for your green card, usually through a process known as adjustment of status, you have been married to that US citizen for less than two years, then
In either case your green card will be a conditional green card which expires in 2 years rather than the 10 year expiration of a non-conditional green card.Why do I Need to Remove the Conditions on my Green Card?
While a conditional green card generally provides a permanent resident all the rights, privileges and obligations of a non-conditional card, the most significant difference is that the conditional card expires in only 2 years from the date of issuance. If the conditions are not removed in a timely manner, and a new, non-conditional green card with a new ten year expiration date is not timely issued, then the former permanent resident goes out of status, is not then a lawful permanent resident, and is subject to removal from the US…a bad result!Why are Some Green Cards Made Conditional?
When a green card is issued based on a relatively short marriage (in general less than two years) the USCIS wants to make sure that this marriage relationship was a real one, based on love, and not one entered into just for immigration purposes. They have therefore set up a “test point” in the permanent resident’s status to test whether the marriage on which it was based really was a valid one.
This “test point” is at the end of two years from issuance of the conditional green card and is called “removal of conditions”. But CAUTION, you cannot wait until the conditional card expires, by then it is too late, and you automatically go out of status and subject to removal and may have to reapply for permanent residency; what must be done is to APPLY for the removal of conditions, and have the petition accepted by the USCIS as filed, anytime within the 90 period starting 21 months from the date of issuance of the original conditional green card and BEFORE the conditional card expires.
If your petition to remove conditions is received and accepted by the USCIS during this 90 day period then the expiration of the card is, in effect, tolled, and you continue in your permanent US resident status until action is taken by the USCIS and a new, ten year card is issued or denied. The details about what to do if you let your conditional green card expire without petitioning for removal of conditions, or if your petition to remove conditions is denied, is beyond the scope of this site page; call your AmeriLawGroup Attorney who will be happy to explain your options.How do I Petition for Removal of Conditions?
As is usually the case in immigration matters, the first step is to prepare and file a form; in this case a form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence. But just filing a form will not obtain a removal of conditions.
Recall that this is a USCIS “test point” where YOU have to prove to the USCIS that your marriage was a valid one from the start, not a sham marriage just for immigration purposes, and that your permanent residency was based on that valid marriage. If you cannot prove this to them with this petition and all required supporting documents, your petition may be denied and your permanent resident status revoked. You would then be subject to being removed from the US.How do We Avoid this and Prove the Validity of the Underlying Marriage?
You must create a complete package documenting the continuity and status of the marriage over the relevant past 2 year period. Every case, just like every marriage, is different. Your AmeriLawGroup Attorney will discuss with you in detail what facts You can show, and the documentation available to You, to “prove your case”.
AmeriLawGroup has written a booklet, which will be provided to you when we undertake your representation, which outlines the various ways our past clients have “proven their case” and successfully petitioned for removal of conditions. This booklet has detailed descriptions of the evidence required and tips on how best to use it…and of course your Attorney carefully reviews your forms and documents and is always happy to provide guidance as required by your unique case.
Call or use this site’s “Book Me” page to schedule a consultation with your Attorney…there is no charge for this initial consultation and all our attorney fees are at flat, “one time”, rates. See our Services and Fees page for further information.