A lawful permanent resident is commonly referred to as being a green card holder.  Lawful permanent resident status generally lasts until one of the following occurs: the non-citizen naturalizes and becomes a United States citizen, the non-citizen receives an order of removal from the country, or the non-citizen voluntarily chooses to give up the lawful permanent residency.

Where a person adjusts status to a lawful permanent resident within two years of a lawful marriage to a U.S. citizen, a green card will be valid for 2 years.  These individuals are known as conditional permanent residents. Ahead of a conditional residency expiration, however, an application known as Form I-751 or the Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence will need to be filed in order to extend the status to an indeterminate Lawful Permanent Residence.

Important Factors to Consider

Conditional permanent residencies are imposed in an effort to avoid sham marriages. One of the most fraudulent ways to obtain a green card is through a marriage, and a conditional permanent residency is used to prevent this type of fraud when the non-citizen seeks permanent resident status will not be subject to conditional lawful permanent resident status. A couple who has already been married for over 2 years when the non-citizen seeks a permanent resident status will not need to go through this additional step.

When filing a Form I-751, the petition will need to be filed within a specific timeframe. Conditional residences expire 2 years from the date in which they were granted. A conditional resident who migrated via consular processing, the date of conditional residence will be the date he or she first entered the country with his or her immigrant visa. A conditional resident who has immigrated via an adjustment of status, the grant date will be the date he or she received adjustment of status approval from the USCIS.

As of February 2020, the Homeland Security’s new public charge rule will take effect. Under this rule, certain individuals seeking a green card may be denied if they are considered a public charge, meaning they are considered dependents of government subsidies.

Methods of Removing the Conditions on Residence

There are a few methods to remove the conditions on residence, which will depend on the marital status of the conditional resident:

  • When the conditional resident is married to the petitioning party, he or she will need to file the Form I-751 His or her partner will need to sign the form as well as attend the interview required by the submitting the form.
  • In the event that the conditional resident isn’t married to the petitioning spouse, he or she can petition for a waiver to file jointly. A waiver can only be requested if the marriage was entered into in good faith, the petitioner passed away, the conditional resident or his or her child was subject to abuse, or termination of the conditional residence will cause him or her extreme hardship.

Obtain Proficient Legal Counsel

If you are seeking to file an I-751, there are a few requirements you must abide by in order to the opportunity of a successful petition. Whether or not you are married to the petitioning spouse, consider speaking to a qualified attorney who can guide you through the legal process.

Attorney Oliver King has many years of experience in the field of immigration law. When filing a Petition to Lift the Conditions on Residence, obtain proficient legal support. Consider contacting the King Immigration Law Group today.