A conditional green card is a type of green card explicitly given to people who are married to US citizens who were married for less than two years at the time of green card approval. The process of removing the conditions can be complex, but with the proper guidance, it will be smooth sailing. Remember that the couple must provide evidence that the marriage is genuine and that they are still living together. Failure to file Form I-751 or remove the conditions can result in USCIS terminating the green card and the individual being placed in removal proceedings.
The Conditional Green Card
There are two categories of immigrants who are first issued conditional permanent residency:
- Marriage-based: Immigrants who apply for a green card based on their marriage to a US citizen and have been married for less than two years at the time of their application approval will be issued a conditional green card by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This green card is valid for two years and must be renewed before it expires.
- Entrepreneurs/Investors: Conditional green cards are issued to entrepreneurs and investors who apply for green cards based on their investments in the United States. This green card is valid for two years and must be renewed before it expires.
As previously mentioned, all conditional green cards are only valid for two years and must be renewed. To do this, the green card holder can petition USCIS to remove the condition by filing Form I-751 up to (but no more than) 90 days before the card expires, s. The following article provides information on calculating when you should file the I-751; Applicants cannot renew these conditional green cards via form I-90. Below we will give you more details on removing the conditions from your green card for marriage-based applications.
If you are ready to remove the conditions on your green card, SimpleCitizen can help to simplify the process. Find out more here.
Marriage-based Green Cards typically have conditions that need to be removed after 2 years
To remove the conditions on a marriage-based green card, applicants must file Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence Based on Marriage. It is important to note that the applicant can only file this form within a 90-day window before the green card expires. USCIS will reject the form if filed before the 90-day window.
There are risks associated with failing to file Form I-751 before the green card expires. If the form is not filed within the 90-day window, USCIS may terminate the green card holder’s residency status, and deportation proceedings may begin. In this case, the green card holder must appear at a hearing to prove that they complied with the requirements to keep their residency. If they cannot do so, they will lose their residency and be required to leave the country.
To avoid these risks, it is essential to file Form I-751 within the 90-day window before the green card expires. This will ensure that the green card holder’s permanent resident status is maintained and that they can continue living and working in the United States.
How much does it cost:
As of January 2023, the fee file Form I-751 is $595, plus an additional $85 fee for your biometrics services appointment. The total cost is $680. If children are included on the form, each child will also need to add an $85 biometric fee. This means that the total cost of the form and biometric fee is $680 for the primary applicant and an additional $85 for each dependent child included on the form.
Next Steps After Filing Form I-751, Removal of Conditions:
- About three weeks after filing Form I-751, USCIS will send a Notice of Action, Form I-797. This form confirms that USCIS has received the petition and grants two additional years of conditional residency while USCIS processes the case. This notice can be used with the expired green card as proof of the applicant’s continued ability to work and travel.
- USCIS will then send a notice of the biometrics appointment. In some cases, USCIS may choose to apply the biometrics from your previous application to your current petition. If this is the case, you will be notified and will not have to attend a biometrics appointment. However, you will still be charged the biometrics fee of $85. This fee is required for all Form I-751 petitions and cannot be waived or refunded.
- Two things might happen in the processing time following filing a petition: USCIS may send what’s known as a “request for evidence,” asking to provide further proof of a bona fide marriage. In addition, they may require an interview at a USCIS office. Both are up to USCIS discretion; well-prepared petitioners are often exempted from both.
- USCIS will then decide on the petition and either approve or deny the application.
While waiting for USCIS to process a case, petitioners can carry their expired conditional green card and the I-797 receipt notice that proves a petition has been made to have conditions removed. These documents prove that the holder has a valid right to remain in the United States.
Petitioners may travel outside the United States while USCIS processes their petition if they receive the I-551 stamp in their passport. This serves as proof of residency for a one-year period. They can also use their expired conditional green card and the I-797 receipt notice for the petition to remove conditions to work and travel while the application is pending.
Removing the conditions on a conditional green card is essential in obtaining a permanent green card. By filing Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence, jointly with your US citizen spouse, who sponsored you for the conditional green card, within the 90 days before the conditional green card expires, you can remove the conditions and obtain a permanent green card.
Overall, removing the conditions on a conditional green card is an essential step in the journey to becoming a permanent resident, and it’s a process that applicants should take seriously. With the proper guidance, you can navigate the process efficiently and obtain your permanent green card.
Ready to take the next step toward obtaining a permanent green card? Let SimpleCitizen guide you through removing the conditions on your green card. With our easy-to-use platform and expert guidance, filing Form I-751 has never been simpler. File Form I-751 with SimpleCitizen.