The most relevant benefit for almost all foreign citizens is receiving permanent resident status. Almost all Green Cards are permanent and issued for ten years. Besides the permanent resident category, there is also a subcategory called the conditional permanent resident (conditional Green Card holder). Since this is a subcategory, most of the rules and immigration laws are identical to the Green Card holder category. When it comes to the rights, responsibilities, privileges, and duties, conditional Green Card holders are on equal standing with the Green Card holders. However, a conditional Green Card is valid for two years, and cannot be renewed. To continue remaining as a permanent resident, a conditional Green Card holder must apply to remove conditions on conditional Green Card during the 90-day period before the card’s expiration date.
The conditional Green Card can be received throughout the marriage to a United States citizen or a lawful permanent resident. The USCIS issues a conditional Green Card to recently married immigrants prior to their 2-year marriage anniversary.
One receives conditional status because they did not prove that their marriage is bona fide, and they are not intending to evade the immigration law. Once one meets the eligibility criteria, they may apply to remove conditions on Green Card. To do so, one must file Form I-751 (petition to remove the conditions of residence).
This is a petition used by conditional Green Card holders who are looking to receive permanent status throughout the marriage. The purpose of this petition is to remove conditions on conditional Green Card. One may file the Form I-751 after they meet the following criteria:
These are only some of the criteria one needs to meet. More specific eligibility criteria can be reviewed in Section 2016 of the Immigration and Nationality Act as well as in the Code of Federal Regulations Section 216.
You may file the petition either together with your spouse or separately. If you decide to file it together, then you must do it during the 90-day period before the conditional Green Card will expire.
If you file the petition on your own (if your spouse died, you are divorced, or you or your child have been beaten or have experienced hardship), you may file the petition at any time during the conditional period, but before removal from the United States.
If you decide not to file the petition, you automatically lose the conditional resident status. However, in the case of some extraordinary circumstances which you are able to demonstrate to USCIS in a written request, you might be excused.
To prove and demonstrate that your marriage is bona fide, it is best to submit as much evidence as you can. However, it is necessary to provide a copy of the conditional Green Card or Alien Card for both you and your children when filing the petition. Some additional documents are also required, such as:
If you are filing the form separately, you need to provide:
You need to provide the criminal history information if any exists. In case you were arrested or detained by law enforcement for any reason, even if you have not been charged, you need to provide the official statement by the law enforcement agency. In case you have been charged, you need to provide documents, orders, or conviction record.
If you were to knowingly misrepresent the filing information, hide the asked information, or submit false documents in the Form I-751, the USCIS will deny your Form, and they may also deny other immigration benefits that you already have. You may also meet different penalties, as well as be the subject to criminal prosecution.
Here are some of the common issues you might meet when applying to remove conditions on conditional Green Card:
The approximate time to remove the conditions on Green Card is 6 to 12 months. Once the application is confirmed the probation period is over and you will receive your new Green Card via the email.
If you need more information, you can contact immigration attorney Chicago.