The Ultimate Guide to the Removal of Conditions Green Card
Removal of Conditions on a Green Card as a Conditional Permanent Resident
If you got your marriage-based green card approved less than two years following your marriage, the green card will typically be valid for two years and will be conditional. If that is the case, you will need to file Form I-751 to obtain permanent residence.
What Is a Conditional Green Card?
A conditional green card allows one to live and work in the United States just like the ordinary green card. However, you will have to update your status after two years before you can receive the ten-year green card.
An important thing to note is that you cannot renew conditional green cards. If you fail to adjust your immigration status within the 90-day window before the expiration date of your conditional green card, you will have to leave the United States as your permanent residence will be revoked.
As such, it is critical to work with an immigration professional when you need to apply for removal of conditions. By working with an immigration legal professional, you improve the probability that your petition will be approved.
Contact us today, and we may be able to help you with your application just like we have helped many other clients.
Removal of Conditions Green Card Timeline
As a permanent resident spouse on a conditional green card, you have the same responsibilities and rights as a permanent resident. As such, you can start counting your time as a conditional resident towards eligibility for American citizenship.
Upon obtaining conditional residence status, the USCIS will send marriage green card holders notice of the conditional basis of their status.
The notice usually includes what you need to do for the removal of conditions and the consequences of failing to apply to remove the conditions. Conditional residents will typically get just that one notice and no further reminders when the time for filing the petition comes around.
Even if you have obtained conditional permanent residence, you must take 90 days before celebrating two years as a conditional resident to file the petition for removal of conditions. Failure to apply in time may result in your immigrant visa being revoked and trigger the USCIS to begin removal proceedings.
Filing too soon, which is earlier than 90 days before the expiration of your conditional permanent residency, will result in your documents being sent back to you by immigration services. If you are late by a few weeks or days, you need to pen a letter alongside the application to explain the reason for the delay.
If you are in divorce proceedings or your spouse is deceased, you can benefit from the waiver provision. Under immigration laws, you can make a waiver request asking that the requirement to file jointly be waived.
In such instances, you may need to provide documentation, including divorce proceedings or spouse’s death certificate, to request consideration.
While the provision for a timely petition still applies, you are allowed to make an application to remove conditions on permanent residence as soon as you get conditional residency but before removal proceedings are started.
Eligibility criteria generally apply to children included in marriage-based green cards if the child’s conditional green card was granted within 90 days or at the same time.
Still, if you file a joint petition, the child will need to have their own application if they were granted conditional permanent residency more than 90 days after the parent was granted conditional residency independently.
By filing your USCIS Form I-751 on time, you can get your conditional resident status extended while the government agency reviews your petition.
Given how critical it is to file your removal of conditions on time, it is important to understand the timelines. But the fact that these timelines are subject to change and modification means that it is better to work with an immigration professional.
We have skilled and experienced immigration professionals who are well-versed in the procedures and requirements for filing removal of conditions. We may be able to help you file your petitions on time so that you can get your green card and start living your life as a U.S. permanent resident.
Application to Remove Conditions on Green Card for Lawful Permanent Resident Status
Filing a petition to remove conditions on residence must be done jointly with the citizen spouse 90 days before the expiry of your conditional residency.
The Consequences of Not Filing
If you fail to file the petition to remove conditions on residence, you will automatically lose permanent residence based on marriage two years after you were granted conditional status. This would mean that you would be eligible for removal from the U.S.
The USCIS will typically send a notice to you informing you of the failure to remove conditions on permanent residence. You will also get a Notice to Appear or an appointment notice for a hearing.
Failing to file Form I-751 before your conditional residence expires may be forgiven under certain circumstances as long as you provide an explanation and a request asking the USCIS to overlook the late filing. You may be forgiven if the delay was caused by circumstances outside of your control and if the delay that resulted is reasonable.
Still, it is important to note that it is up to the discretion of the USCIS Service Center’s director to grant you a permanent resident card or reject your application for a late submission.
Is There an Interview for Removal of Conditions?
The district office director, who is in charge of the area you live in, is responsible for reviewing your conditional resident status application and determining if you are eligible for a lawful permanent resident interview.
If the director believes you are eligible from your Form I-751 petition, they may decide to waive the interview requirement for a green card. If they believe you do not have a bona fide marriage given that you got married to take advantage of immigration benefits, they may schedule an interview.
If the director waives the interview, you will get an approval notice sent to you that you can then take to the local USCIS office that will provide an I-551 visa which grants one permanent residency. You will also be granted the visa if you pass the interview and the director believes you entered a marriage in good faith.
In both instances, green card applicants will usually receive their permanent resident card in the mail within a few months.
If the conditional resident status petition is denied, you will typically be put in removal proceedings. The only way to avoid removal in such an instance is to prove through a written explanation that such removal would result in extreme hardship back home.
Given how critical it is to avoid removal proceedings, it is always important to work with an immigration professional right after you begin the process.
Contact us today, and we may be able to help you with your conditional resident status application, joint petition, expired green card, and any other immigration issue you may have.
Form for Removal of Conditional Green Card
Form I-751 is the form used to make an application for the removal of conditions for conditional residency. This form usually has to be filed within 90 days prior to the expiration of your conditional green card.
The conditional permanent resident is usually granted a two-year green card. To extend your residency, you will have to remove conditions placed on your permanent resident status. This is done by filing a petition at least 90 days before the expiration of the conditional green card.
Even though a conditional permanent resident receives their green card, conditions are usually attached to it. If the conditional green card expires before the removal of the conditions, the permanent residence status will be lost, and the green card holder may be removed from the U.S.
If you are frustrated by the complications of applying for removal of conditions on your green card, get in touch with our team today. We provide a variety of immigration services, including document preparation for renewal of visas and obtaining new visas, and we may just be able to assist you.
Our network of experienced professionals may provide information on your petition for getting green card approval from the USCIS.
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