How To Remove Conditional Green Card


What Is Conditional Green Card?

As the name suggests, Conditional Green Card is a resident status given to certain individuals seeking residence in the US. However, the major difference between a Green Card and a Conditional Green Card is in the associated conditions with such resident status. The Conditional Green Card has an expiry date of 2 years and such Conditional Green Cards cannot be renewed. However, such foreign nationals willing to stay in USA with their spouses need to apply for removing such conditions within the stipulated time period, ideally before the expiry of the Conditional Green Card. Such individuals certainly need to adhere to the timeline applicable for removing conditional status from the Green Card, i.e., three months ahead of the expiration date of the conditional Green Cards or else such resident status would automatically terminate and such individuals need to move out of USA.


Who Gets A Conditional Green Card?

In USA, Conditional Green Cards are usually issued to individuals who are foreign nationals and get married to US citizens and want to settle down in the USA. Conditional Green Cards, as the name suggests, is a residency status associated with various conditions among which the primary condition is that the Conditional Green Cards issued to the spouses of US citizens are conditioned to expire in two years from the date of issue. Therefore, any individual who would like to attain permanent residency status is USA needs to apply for removal of conditions, that too within the stipulated time period.


Who Is Eligible To Remove Conditional Green Card?

Foreign nationals who have been issued Conditional Green Cards require removing the conditions applicable to such Conditional Green Cards in order to gain permanent citizenship of the land. However, there are certain restrictions in terms of individuals who can apply for such removal of conditions. List of individuals who can validly apply for removal of such conditions and apply for permanent resident status include:

  • The individual who is still married to the same US citizen or permanent resident even after the end of 2 years
  • Such an application of permanent resident can also include the children of such foreign nationals in case the children received their conditional resident status either at the same time or within 90 days of the receipt of such status by the individual.
  • The Conditional Green Card Holder is a child and for certain valid reason cannot be included in the parent’s application
  • The Conditional Green Card holder is a widow or widower and entered into a marriage with a good faith
  • The Conditional Green Card Holder married in good faith but such marriage ended through a divorce or annulment
  • The Conditional Green Card Holder entered into a marriage in good faith; however, either the Conditional Green Card Holder or his/her child/children were subjected to extreme hardships by the US citizen or permanent resident spouse.

Form I-751 provides further specifications regarding the eligibility requirements of an application for removal of conditions from the Conditional Green Card.


Documents To Remove Conditional Green Card

Along with the duly filled in I-751 Form, the individual along with his/her spouse needs to submit the following documents to USCIS:

  • One copy, front and back, of the Alien Registration Card (otherwise known as a green card) of the individual.
  • A valid proof of a good faith marriage
  • In case requesting for a waiver of the joint filing requirement, documents supporting such requests
  • In case the applicant has undergone a legal name change, the court order supporting and indicating the change.
  • In case the individual has a criminal or drug history, documents explaining what happened

In case such supporting documents are in a foreign language, the individual must submit an English translation along with them.


How To Remove Conditional Green Card?

Conditional Green Card is issued to individuals seeking resident status in the USA and such resident status is conditional if it is based on a marriage of the individual to a permanent resident or US citizen and such marriage is of less than two years old on the day such permanent residence card is issued.


Such a conditional resident status is usually conferred to the individual on the day the individual is lawfully admitted within the boundary of the United States on an immigrant visa or as an adjustment of the individual’s status to permanent residence. Conditional Resident status is conferred upon individuals, especially spouses of US citizens and permanent residents of USA in order to prove that such a marriage has not been entered in order to evade the immigration laws of the United States.


In order to remove the conditions from the residential status, the individual needs to file a Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence in the specified Form I-751. The individual along with his/her spouse need to file in the form mentioned above during the 90 days prior to termination of such a Conditional Green Card. In case, the filing is not done timely, it may lead the individual towards losing the conditional resident status, and he or she can be removed from the country with immediate effect.


There are situations where the conditions while applying for the conditional resident status and present status are not the same such as the individual does not continue the marital relationship because of a battered or abusive relationship from the US citizen or Permanent Resident Spouse or Parent, then such individual can apply for waiving off the joint filing requirement. In fact, such application for removal of conditions from the permanent resident application can be put in any time after attaining the conditional resident status and before being removed from the country. However, the individual needs to provide factual evidence for the fact that removal from US can cause extreme hardship upon the individual.


How Long It Takes To Remove Conditional Green Card?

Usually, it takes approximately two to three weeks after filing the application for removal of conditions from the residential status of the individual in the suggested Form I-751. After submission of the Form, the applicant usually receives a notice stating that the I-751 application is being processed normally. Such a notice will extend the conditional permanent resident status of the applicant for one more year in order to adjust the time taken to meet the formalities of conferring the permanent resident status.


When To Get A Lawyer?

An individual applying for removal of conditions from the Conditional Green Card and apply for permanent residence in the USA might require to seek the help of a lawyer in case the individual has a criminal or drug history, since the individual need to explain the exact reasons and justifications of what exactly happened by supporting it with documentary evidence. The lawyer’s help becomes absolutely mandatory as such acts can easily lead to the individual being denied a green card.