My conditional green card expired. What should I do?

conditional green card expiredIf your conditional green card expired and you have not filed Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence, your conditional permanent residence has likely expired. Without a valid immigration status, immigration enforcement has the authority to remove you from the United States.

This article only applies to individuals who have a conditional green card. These cards are generally valid for two years and are obtained through a U.S. investment or through marriage to a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. Individuals with a 10-year green card do not file Form I-751.

Already Filed Form I-751 Successfully

If you successfully filed Form I-751, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will generally mail you a receipt letter within 6 to 8 weeks. The receipt letter is formally known as Form I-797C, Notice of Action. The receipt letter has a receipt number to track your case. But the letter will also extend your conditional residence for an additional 18 months while USCIS reviews your case. To prove your conditional resident status, you’ll need to carry your expired green card and the receipt letter. Used together, they function like a normal green card. If the letter expires before you receive your 10-year green card, contact USCIS to request a new letter.

RECOMMENDED: Form I-797 Notice of Action Explained

Expired Conditional Green Card

If you didn’t file Form I-751 and your conditional green card expired, don’t wait for immigration officials to contact you. It’s best to proactively seek the advice of an immigration attorney that can guide you through the process of getting you back into a lawful status. If you failed to file the I-751 petition in the 90-day period before your card expired, you are likely removable (deportable) from the United States. It is extremely important for your to address the situation as soon as possible.

Filing Form I-751 Late

In certain circumstances you may be able to file Form I-751 on your own even after the conditional green card expired. If you failed to file the I-751 petition through no fault of your own, you may file late with a written explanation and request that USCIS excuse the late filing. Failure to file before the expiration date may be excused if you demonstrate when you submit the petition that the delay was due to extraordinary circumstances beyond your control and the length of the delay was reasonable.

If you do have a compelling reason to file late, you should respond immediately. And you should consider contacting an immigration attorney that can guide you through this process.

RECOMMENDED: How Divorce Can Affect Your Green Card Status and Immigration Standing

Source: USCIS