What is a Conditional Green Card and who gets it?

Have you ever heard or seen people sacrificing almost everything just to travel to the US or to get settled there? Being a member of third world country, deep inside your heart you have that wish to have a setup in the US, and that’s kind of natural, you are attracted by the opportunities, you are fascinated by their lifestyle and you try everything to give yourself a chance to get a permanent resident status there.

In the previous articles, we talked about green cards, the process of applying for permanent residence status, and everything you need to know about it in detail. Keeping it in mind all green cards are not created equal neither their validity lasts for the same period of the time, rather they are categorized based on certain conditions, in this article we will look at a conditional green card.


What is a Conditional Green Card?


Usually, a green card is valid for 10 years and you have to renew on its expiry to maintain your permanent resident status. A conditional green card is issued by USCIS to recently married immigrants temporarily to ensure that your marriage is legitimate and not for getting a green card.

The conditional green card is valid for 2 years. However, you may travel in and out of the US without having to apply for a special visa and do not require a separate work permit to work there. 


Removal of conditional green card:


If you got your green card through marriage, the next step is to convert that conditional green card into permanent one within 90 days of its expiration date; otherwise, US immigration might remove you from the US.  To remove conditional status from your green card, you simply have to follow the basic legal method by filing the petition for I-751 form with the relevant documentation that includes joint ownership of property, joint lease, joint bank accounts and/or credit card accounts, birth certificates of children (if any), photographs and other relevant certificates. This process may take 12 months to be completed. 

Conditional green card removal interview:


Note that not all the petitioners filed for removal of the conditional green card are called up for an interview, however, if USCIS decided to call you for the interview in their office, you and your spouse are supposed to appear for it. You will get a notice from USCIS with your conditional green card removal receipt. There is nothing to feel nervous about or stressed over the call for this interview, the reason to conduct this interview is to prove the legitimacy of your marriage. So you are supposed to provide as much evidence as you can to prove your marriage legitimacy. 


Posted script:  

USCIS issues revise interview guidance for the Form I-751. 

Divorce after conditional green card


The way marriage makes you eligible for a green card and makes you a permanent resident of the US, the same way divorce may stop the immigration process before the approval of green card application. If you are the conditional green card holder and you got divorced, you won’t lose your card rather you just have to file the waiver of the joint petition I-751 form and have to prove USCIS that you had this marriage in ”good faith”  and not forgetting green card. Thus you also need to tell the reason for ending the marriage; this may save your permanent residence status only if USCIS didn’t find your fault in ending your marriage.

If USCIS finds you at fault for ending the marriage, your wavier would get denied; you will eventually lose your permanent status and will be sent back to your country.