What is a conditional green card?

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conditional green cardU.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issues certain permanent residents a conditional green card which is valid for a two-year period. In order to remain a permanent resident, a conditional permanent resident generally must file a petition to “remove the conditions” during the 90 days before the card expires. Do not use Form I-90 to renew a conditional green card.

Upon successfully removing conditions on residence, the permanent resident (along with any children that filed on the same petition) will become lawful permanent residents with 10-year green cards.

Removing Conditions – Marriage

If your marriage was less than two years old on the day you were granted permanent residence, USCIS issues a conditional green card. You are given conditional resident status on the day you are lawfully admitted to the United States on an immigrant visa or adjustment of your status to permanent residence.

Your status is conditional, because you must prove that you did not get married to evade the immigration laws of the United States. The conditional green card is like a probation period for two years during which the couple builds a record of their married relationship together. At the end of that period the couple files Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence, in addition to evidence of a bona fide marriage.

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Removing Conditions – Investor

For permanent residence based on a financial investment in the United States, USCIS may issue a conditional green card. You are given conditional resident status on the day you are lawfully admitted to the United States for a two-year period.

You must file Form I-829, Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions, to remove the conditions on your permanent resident status. Form I-829 must be filed within 90 days before the second anniversary of your admission to the United States as a conditional resident.

Failure to Remove Conditions on Conditional Green Card

If you do not file Form I-751 as required, you will automatically lose your conditional permanent resident status as of the second anniversary of the date you were granted conditional status. As a result, you will become removable from the United States.

The conditional two-year period is in place to help prevent green card fraud. Therefore, conditional green card holders should take the filing process very seriously as it is more than just filing a form.

Source: USCIS