A person may have acquired a 2-year Conditional Green Card through marriage if he/she was married for less than 2 years on the day the person was given permanent residence. To find out if you are a Conditional Permanent Resident, simply look at your Green Card to determine if it has a 2-year expiration date.
Subject to some exceptions, a Conditional Green Card holder and his or her spouse must jointly apply to remove the conditions on a Green Card during the 90-day period before the expiration of said Green Card. The basic purpose behind this requirement is to allow U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) to take a second look at the genuineness of the marriage.
Consequences of Not Removing the Conditions on a Green Card:
Failure to properly or timely file a joint petition to remove the conditions on a marriage-based Conditional Green Card may lead to,
- Termination of permanent resident status of the alien; and,
- Removal proceedings (deportation) being instituted against the alien.
Consequently, it is strongly advised that a person with a Conditional Green Card consult with an attorney to ensure that the process of removing the conditions on said Green Card is properly completed in a timely manner. To learn more about potential waivers, please refer to the “waivers” section below.
In order for a person to remove the conditions on a marriage-based Green Card he or she must,
- Still be married to the same U.S. Citizen or permanent resident;
- Be a widow or widower who entered into the marriage in good faith;
- Have entered into the marriage in good faith, but the marriage ended through divorce or annulment;
- Have entered into the marriage in good faith, but either the conditional resident or the conditional resident’s child was battered or subjected to extreme cruelty by the U.S. Citizen or permanent resident spouse; or,
- Be a person whose deportation or removal would result in extreme hardship.
Process of Removing Conditions on a Marriage-Based Green Card:
The process of removing the conditions on a marriage-based Green Card will depend upon your specific circumstances. However, the general process can be summarized as follows.
I. Filing Form I-751 with USCIS:
First, the Conditional Resident and his or her spouse must jointly file, with USCIS, Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence. Form I-751 must be filed within 90 days of the expiration of the Conditional Green Card. The application needs to include numerous supporting documentation. The main purpose behind the filing of Form I-751 is to allow USCIS to take a second look at the genuineness of the marriage. The Law Office of Van R. Ngo, LLC, completes Form I-751 on behalf of its clients and gathers and submits all of the required supporting documentation to ensure that its clients have the best chance of approval.
II. USCIS Sends Receipt Notice to Applicant:
Second, after Form I-751 has been properly submitted, USCIS sends the applicant a notice of receipt notifying the applicant that it has received the application and that the applicant’s permanent residency is extended for a certain amount of time while the application is pending. This notice is important because it is proof of legal status in the United States while the application is pending.
III. USCIS Schedules Biometrics Appoitnment:
Third, USCIS may send the applicant a biometrics notice appointment requiring the applicant to go to a local USCIS office in order to gather the applicant’s fingerprints, signature, and/or picture. These items are gathered in order for USCIS to confirm the applicant’s identity and run required background and security checks.
IV. USCIS Interview:
Fourth, USCIS will likely require the applicant and the applicant’s spouse to attend an in-person interview to go over the application and ask questions relating to the genuineness of the marriage. The Law Office of Van R. Ngo, LLC, prepares its clients for all government interviews to ensure that its clients are well prepared for these interviews and have the best chance of getting approved.
V. USCIS Decision:
Finally, if granted, USCIS will mail the applicant a notice of approval with a 10-year Green Card.
Generally, a marriage-based Conditional Green Card holder and his or her spouse must jointly apply to remove the conditions on a Green Card during the 90-day period before the expiration of said Green Card. However, under certain circumstances, you may be eligible for a waiver. A waiver is whereby USCIS excuses a party for not meeting one or more requirement(s).
USCIS may grant the following waivers for failing to properly and/or timely file a petition to remove the conditions on a Green Card:
- Deceased spouse waiver;
- Terminated marriage waiver;
- Alien spouse or child battered or subjected to extreme cruelty waiver; and,
- Extreme hardship waiver.
For more information about available waivers, please contact us.
Children of Conditional Residents:
A child with a Conditional Green Card is also required to have the conditions removed from his or her Green Card. The process of doing so will depend upon certain factors. For more information on removing the conditions of a child’s Green Card, please contact us.
For more information about removing the conditions on a marriage-based Green Card or if you require immigration representation, please contact us by clicking here.