There’s a big difference between removing the conditions on a 2-year green card and renewing a green card. Applicants sometimes confuse the two processes with serious consequences.
Green card holders either possess a 2-year conditional card or a 10-year card. The former is referred to as conditional permanent residents while holders of 10-year cards are permanent residents.
Conditional green cards are issued to certain marriage-based and investment-based applicants for permanent residence. If you have been married under two years to a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident at the time you gained your green card, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will give you a 2-year green card. Officials want to ensure your marriage is valid before you receive a 10-year green card.
Likewise, some entrepreneurs can qualify for permanent residence based on investment. Permanent residence based on investment is initially conditional.
Holders of conditional green cards should know the difference between removing conditions and renewing a green card. It is not possible to renew a 2-year green card, although you can apply to replace one.
Holders of conditional green cards must file for removal of conditions within the 90-day period before the conditions expire. USCIS urges conditional permanent residents to check its filing calculator to work out when they should apply for the removal of conditions. People who fail to file for the removal of conditions face losing their permanent resident status and removal from the United States.
You must file Form I-751, Petition to Remove the Conditions of Residence if your green card is based on marriage. Check the USCIS website for the form as well as instructions to file Form I-751.
If you are still married, you should file Form I-751 jointly with your spouse who you obtained conditional status with. You may file I-751 without your spouse if you entered the marriage in good faith but your spouse died; the marriage was terminated because of divorce or annulment, or you entered the marriage in good faith but were battered or subjected to extreme cruelty by your spouse.
The same provision applies to children of conditional green card holders who were battered or subjected to extreme cruelty by their parent’s spouse.
Entrepreneurs should file Form I-829 to remove the conditions on their green cards within the 90-day period before expiration.
An important difference between removing conditions and renewing a green card is the documentation you must use. Always complete Form I-90 to renew or replace a 10-year green card. Never fill in this form to remove conditions.
Our Virginia Beach-based immigration law firm can advise and help you with I-90 renewal of a green card as well as I-751 or I-829 removal of conditions.
Failure to renew or replace a green card can be costly and jeopardize your future in the United States. Please contact our attorneys as soon as possible for help with renewing a green card or the removal of conditions.
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