A conditional permanent resident is someone who receives a Green Card based on a marriage that is less than two years old. This green card, once issued, is only valid for two years. Once the two years is up, the conditional permanent resident is required to file an I-751, Petition to Remove the Conditions of Residenceform with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to have their conditions removed. It is important to understand that the initial Green Card(i.e. two-year green card) that is issued to a conditional resident cannot be renewed which is why a petition must be filed in order to get the conditions lifted.
When must I submit my I-751 form to USCIS?
USCIS says that a conditional resident is required to file a petition 90 days prior to the expiration date on their Green Card to get the conditions removed. When filing your petition, USCIS will ask for certain documentation that proves your marriage is or was bona fide (i.e. real) if you and your spouse divorced. Some ways you can prove your marriage was bona fide is by showing the two of you share or shared a bank account as well as certain bills, which is a common practice among married couples. If you had a child during the two years while you were living in the U.S. as a conditional permanent resident, then you can also submit your child’s birth certificate as proof.
Now, to ensure all runs smoothly with your case, you are encouraged to hire an Atlanta, GA immigration lawyer to help you file form I-751 so that the conditions can be removed from your Green Card and you can remain in the U.S. for a longer period of time.
Am I still in status if my Green Card expires after I submit my I-751 form to remove the conditions?
According to Atlanta, GA immigration attorney Hiba Ghalib, once your Green Card expires, that doesn’t necessarily mean your status has expired. Attorney Hiba Ghalib says the only time your Green Card is at risk is when an immigration judge takes it away from you. Essentially what this means is that once you file form I-751 and you do so correctly, the receipt you receive from USCIS allows you to remain in the U.S. for an additional 18 months.
This extension should give you enough time to get those conditions removed. In the event that document expires and your I-751 is still pending because immigration field offices are closed or providing limited services to the public, then an immigration lawyer can determine what your next step should be to ensure you don’t become removable from the U.S. In some cases, you may be eligible to get an I-551 Stamp in your passport which would allow you to remain in the country.
Now, once your I-751 form is processed and approved, you should receive your permanent 10-year Green Card which is renewable indefinitely. If you would like help with filling out and filing form I-751 or have another immigration-related issue that needs attention, don’t hesitate to contact Kuck | Baxter Immigration for legal help.
Kuck | Baxter Immigration can be reached at:
365 Northridge Road, Suite 300
Atlanta, GA 30350