The main difference between a Green Card with or without conditions is its validity period. Conditional residence permits are valid for 2 years instead of 10 years. When you obtain a permanent residence permit, the length of time before your status expires is in practice unlimited because it is possible to renew 2 year green card as long as you meet the criteria required to keep it.
The card proving your status has an expiry date, usually 10 years. But permanent resident status is usually acquired for life, and renew 2 year green card to prove it is relatively easy to do. However, in certain specific situations, an individual may lose their permanent resident status.
The two types of conditional Green Cards
The main reason for imposing conditions on a Green Card obtained through marriage is to verify that the marriage is legitimate and was not entered into for the sole purpose of offering a permanent residence permit through a fictitious marriage.
In the case of a Green Card obtained through investment, the reasons are similar. The United States wants to make sure that the entrepreneur invests the money well and respects the laws in force. Shortly before the end of these two years, the immigration authorities will check that everything has gone correctly and if this is the case, the conditions present on the residence permit will be withdrawn.
In the case of the Green Card through marriage , it is possible to obtain one unconditionally if the couple has already been married for at least 2 years at the time of filing the application. If you have already been married for almost two years, it is advisable to wait until 2 years of marriage before submitting your Green Card application in order to directly obtain a permanent residence permit.
Remove the conditions on the Green Card related to marriage
In the case of couples married for less than 2 years, the foreign person will receive a conditional Green Card which will allow them to live and work in the United States. Before the end of this 2-year period, husband and wife must jointly complete a form requesting the withdrawal of the conditions present on the card. Do not hesitate to get our guide for the exact procedure to follow.
As a general rule, if a person has an unconditional residence permit. They will be able to keep it, even if they divorce or the American person in the couple dies. However, if the residence permit is conditional, the couple will have to complete together a specific form, the “Joint Petition to Remove Conditional Basis of Alien’s Permanent Resident Status” during the 90 days preceding the 2 years of obtaining the Green Card.
However, it may not be possible to complete this form, as the couple must still be married. In some cases, it will be possible to obtain an exemption from this criterion and to complete the form alone. To do this, USCIS will first want to ensure that the marriage was real and not fictitious. In order to obtain this exemption, the divorce must be pronounced and effective.
If the procedure is still ongoing, the individuals will still be considered married and both spouses will then have to complete their waiver form together. In the event that the divorce proceedings. Started before the end of the 2 years of validity of the residence permit. Extend beyond this period, an expulsion procedure from the territory will be initiated against the non-individual. American. However, a judge can block this deportation proceeding until the divorce is complete by issuing a Form I-551.
In the case of an unconditional Green Card, divorce will not change immigration status. However, if the person wishes to obtain American citizenship, the waiting time will be longer. After a certain period as the holder of a residence permit, an individual may apply for naturalization. As a married person, this procedure is faster. In the event of a divorce, the waiting time will be reduced to its normal duration.
Death of husband or wife
If the husband or wife dies, it is still possible to remove the conditions from your residence permit. For that, it will be necessary to succeed in proving that the marriage was in “good faith”.
Abused wife or husband and / or children
In the case of divorces caused by domestic violence or mental abuse, USCIS may be consulted to explain the situation. As a general rule, it will suffice to complete a form individually. Without the American person responsible for the violence having to jointly complete this document.
Remove the conditions on the Green Card via the investment
Investors receive a conditional Green Card valid for 2 years. After this period, they must file a request to remove the conditions present on the card. Investors can only receive a conditional status valid for 2 years upon their first request.
When this temporary residence permit expires, the entrepreneur must take steps to withdraw the conditions. To do this, he must complete the “Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions” form . You will also have to pay the corresponding application fees and provide the supporting documents. In addition to the forms to be filled out, the entrepreneur will have to provide evidence on the state of his business. His investments, taxes paid, do a financial audit and other aspects of his business.