Conditional Green Card

Foreign nationals who are granted conditional permanent resident status are granted conditional Green Cards and those cards are valid for a two year period.

Those conditional residents must file application to remove conditions, prior to the termination of the two-year period in order to become lawful permanent residents and to obtain Green Cards valid for ten years. Remember that you cannot renew a conditional Green Card and if you do not file an application to remove conditions on your status, at the right time, you may not be able to remain in the United States. To remove conditions on your residence, you may file Form I-751 or Form I-829.

Some U.S. citizens get married to foreign nationals and such spouses of US citizens may apply for lawful permanent resident status, in the United States. However, the U.S. immigration officers believe that many foreign nationals involve in marriage fraud and get married to US citizens, just for immigration purposes. Hence to prevent such people from obtaining lawful status in America, they started to issue conditional Green Cards that will expire in two years.

At the end of the two-year period, according to the US immigration laws, the couple must file a petition together to remove conditions on the status of the spouse who holds a conditional Green Card. Form I-751, Petition to Remove the Conditions of Residence, is the USCIS form that must be filed by the couple, to remove conditions and to obtain a ten-year Green Card. 

Similarly, a foreign national may obtain a US Green Card, if he is capable of making an investment in a business establishment in America. Such investors will initially receive two-year conditional Green Cards. 90 days prior to the termination of the conditional period, the investor must file an application to remove conditions on his Green Card and to obtain a permanent resident card.

An investor, to remove conditions, must file Form I-829, Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions. The USCIS Form I-829, alone may not be sufficient to prove that he is eligible for lawful status in America and so the petition must accompany some supporting documents and the required fee. The investor must submit copies of financial statements, tax returns, and other documents, along with Form I-829. 

While applying to remove conditions on a family-based Green Card, the couple will be required to appear for a Green Card interview. Only after the interview and only after the immigration officer finds that the marriage is genuine, the foreign national spouse will be granted a ten-year Green Card.

At times, foreign national spouses may not be able to jointly file petitions to remove conditions due to genuine reasons such as divorce and they may not be able to remain in the United States and they cannot file applications for Green Cards. If they are able to prove that the marriage was genuine but they had divorced due to reasons such as domestic violence, etc, USCIS will grant them waivers and they may file petitions to remove conditions and obtain Green Cards.