In this article we will discuss what a conditional permanent resident status is, and how can you remove such a condition from your green card. A lawful permanent resident (LPR) is afforded a green card that is valid for a 10-year period, while a conditional permanent resident (CPR) is afforded a green card that is valid only for a 2-year period.

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What is a conditional green card? – Oklahoma

If you immigrated to the US before the second anniversary of your marriage to a US citizen, your green card is valid for a 2-year period and is considered a conditional green card. Other than the fact that the conditional green card expires in 2 years, the benefits afforded to the recipient are the same as a 10-year green card. The rationale behind the 2-year conditional green card is to ensure that the couple did not enter into the marriage solely for immigration benefits and that the marriage was a bona fide one and not entered into for fraudulent reasons. This is why the USCIS will make you prove the bona fides of your marriage at the end of the 2-year period before they will remove the condition.

How to file removal of condition? – Oklahoma

If you immigrated to the US before the 2nd anniversary of your marriage, your green card is a conditional one and will expire in 2 years. In such a situation, you must file Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence, during the 90 days period before the expiration of the 2-year green card.

Based on the information provided on Form I-751, the USCIS will determine whether the marriage was a bona fide one and was not entered into for the sole purpose of immigration benefits.

The couple must jointly file an I-751 Petition showing that they can prove the marriage was valid when it took place, the marriage has not been terminated, the marriage was not entered into to procure a green card, and no fee was paid to the beneficiary spouse. As of the date this article is written, the USCIS has not provided an online platform to complete this form online. The I-751 Petition must be printed, completed, and mailed to the appropriate USCIS address.

If you do not file Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence, during the 90 days immediately before the green card expiration date, the beneficiary spouse will lose his or her permanent resident status and must leave the country. Likewise, if the petition is filed before the 90-day period preceding the green card expiration date, the USCIS will reject the petition. Therefore, it’s important to submit the petition within the 90-day window before the expiration date.

What to include when you file a Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence?

When you file a joint I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence, you must include a filing fee of $680 along with other documents that prove the evidence of a valid marriage. Various documents that can help prove the bona fides of the marriage include:

  • Evidence of joint ownership of property,
  • Driver’s license of both spouses showing the same home address,
  • Joint lease agreement showing both the couples’ names,
  • Joint utilities account showing both the couple’s names,
  • Joint vehicle insurance policy showing both the couple’s names,
  • Life insurance policy on one spouse showing the other as a beneficiary,
  • Joint health insurance policy showing both the couple’s names,
  • The couple’s IRS Tax Return transcripts showing a joint filing of the taxes as married couples, etc.

What’s next after you file a Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence?

Within 2 to 4 weeks of the application you should receive the receipt notification from the USCIS, also called Form I-797, Notice of Action. While the application is pending with the USCIS, as of the date this article is written, you are granted an automatic 24 months extension for your conditional green card. The USCIS rules change often, please consult an immigration attorney or USCIS to confirm that the automatic extension duration is accurate at the time of your filing.

Next, in a few weeks after the filing of Form I-751, you may receive a notice from the USCIS regarding a biometric appointment. The appointment is a simple process where a USCIS officer will take your photographs, fingerprints, and signatures. The appointment notification will specify the date, time, and required documents you must bring to the appointment.

Sometimes, if the USCIS needs more information regarding the bona fides of your marriage or if a matter needs clarification, you may receive a request for evidence (RFE). If you receive an RFE, it’s not a reason to panic, most RFEs will state what is required of you and the process will move along after you submit the requested documents.

Similarly, if the USCIS officer determines that an interview is necessary, you will be notified of an interview appointment. However, the adjudicating officer may waive the interview under the following situations:

  • They have enough information to determine the bona fides of the marriage,
  • The USCIS has previously interviewed the principal petitioner,
  • There is no indication of fraud or misrepresentation in Form I-751,
  • There are no other issues that require an interview to resolve.

How long does it take to process Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence?

If you file the application correctly, submit the required documents, timely respond to the biometric appointment and attend an interview if there is one, you have done everything you need to do. With no request for evidence, it usually takes the USCIS anywhere from 12 to 18 months to remove the condition from your green card and mail out a 10-year green card.

Immigration Attorney in Oklahoma: Green Card Lawyer in Oklahoma City

If you need help with the Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence (I-751), please call the law office of Vivid Niroula. Mr. Niroula is an immigration attorney based in Oklahoma City who has a solid understanding of US Immigration laws, provides client-focused services, and is highly responsive. You may contact us by calling (405) 456-9250 or by filling out the Contact Us Form.