If you have applied for a Green Card, you might get a conditional permanent residency which is valid for 2 years. A conditional residency is referred to as “CR1” on the physical green card.
But don’t worry yet! You can remove conditions on residency and become a permanent resident.
Removal of Conditions
Removal of conditions on residency is classified under two categories.
- If you have a Green Card based on marriage, you’ll have to file a petition to remove the conditions of residence.
- If you’re an entrepreneur or investor, you’ll have to file a petition by entrepreneur to remove conditions.
Removal of Conditions on Residency Based on Marriage
Your permanent residence status is conditional if you’re married to your spouse for less than 2 years since you were lawfully admitted to the United States. Your green card is conditional and valid for only two years.
After 2 years, you’ll again have to prove that your marriage is real and that you did not get married to avail immigration benefits of the United States. You’ll then receive a permanent green card that is valid for 10–year renewable periods.
A CR-1 visa has the same privileges as a permanent resident. However, marriage fraud has become the most common way to enter the United States. Hence, conditional green cards were introduced to eliminate sham marriages and maintain strict protocol.
Therefore, after 2 years, the U.S. immigration law gives the USCIS another chance to evaluate the authenticity of your marriage and confirm that you have a bona fide marriage.
To remove conditions on residency, you and your spouse will have to file Form I-751, petition to Remove Conditions on Residence within 90 days of your conditional residency.
As these proceedings are time-consuming, make sure everything is as per the requirements of the USCIS. One error can lead to the rejection of your application.
Removal of Conditions on Residency Based on Investment
If you’re an entrepreneur and have a green card, your permanent residence status is conditional. This is valid for 2 years from the day you are legally admitted to the United States.
It is important to remove the conditions of residency to permanently stay in the United States. Such entrepreneurs need to file Form I-829 (Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions) within 90 days before your conditional green card expires.
Consequences if You Don’t Remove the Conditions
For marriage-based conditional green card applicants, they will be admitted as “out of status” as soon as their CR-1 visa expires. As they’re unlawfully present in the United States, they could be placed in deportation proceedings and barred from entering the United States for three or ten years.
If entrepreneurs fail to file the petition, they’ll lose their conditional residency and become removable from the United States.
Don’t assume that if you have conditional residency, you’ll easily be granted permanent residency. The USCIS will thoroughly scrutinize your application and can reject it for multiple reasons.
Hence, your application and all supporting documents should be properly filed to avoid any reason for denial.