Removal of Conditions from a 2-Year Conditional Green Card

Removal of Conditions from a 2-year Conditional Green Card

While a conditional green card generally provides a permanent resident all the rights, privileges, and obligations of a non-conditional card, the most significant difference is that the conditional card expires only 2 years from the date of issuance. If the conditions are not removed on time, and a new, non-conditional green card with a further ten-year expiration date is not timely issued, then the former permanent resident goes out of status, is not then a lawful permanent resident, and is subject to removal from the US…a bad result!
Why are Some Green Cards Made Conditional?

When a green card is issued based on a relatively short marriage (in general less than two years), the USCIS wants to make sure that this marriage relationship is not entered into just for immigration purposes. Therefore, they have set up a “test point” in the permanent resident’s status to testing whether the marriage on which it was based really was a valid one.

 This “test point” is at the end of two years from issuing the conditional green card and is called “removal of conditions.” But CAUTION, you cannot wait until the conditional card expires. By then, it is too late, and you automatically go out of status and are subject to removal and may have to reapply for permanent residency. What must be done is to APPLY for the removal of conditions and have the petition accepted by the USCIS as filed, anytime within the 90 periods starting 21 months from the date of issuance of the original conditional green card and BEFORE the conditional card expires.

If your petition to remove conditions is received and accepted by the USCIS during these 90 days, then the expiration of the card is, in effect, tolled, and you continue in your permanent US resident status until action is taken by the USCIS and a new, ten-year card is issued or denied. The details about what to do if you let your conditional green card expire without petitioning for the removal of conditions, or if your petition to remove conditions is denied, is beyond the scope of this site page; call Chicago Illinois Immigration Attorney Toma Makedonski who will be happy to explain your options.

How do I Petition for the Removal of Conditions?

As is usually the case in immigration matters, the first step is to prepare and file a form; in this case, a Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence. But just filing a form I-751 will not obtain the removal of conditions.

Recall that this is a USCIS “test point” where YOU have to prove to the USCIS that your marriage was a valid one from the start, not a sham marriage just for immigration purposes and that your permanent residency was based on that valid marriage. If you cannot prove this to them with this petition and all required supporting documents, your petition may be denied and your permanent resident status revoked. You would then be subject to being removed from the US.

How do We Avoid this and Prove the Validity of the Underlying Marriage?

Every case, just like every marriage, is different. You must create a complete package documenting the continuity and status of the union over the relevant past 2 year period. For example, pictures, joint bills, i.e., cell phones, utilities, etc.

we offer affordable low flat fees on all marriage based immigration petitions. Call Chicago Illinois Immigration lawyer Toma Makedonski for a free consultation. 

Attorney Toma Makedonski offers a low-cost, flat fee in most cases, so you, as the client, know what your cost will be upfront. Toma Makedonski is a Chicago Illinois Immigration Lawyer  with upfront, low-cost, flat fees on most immigration cases.

(773) 727-5491