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The process of immigration to the United States is a multifaceted one, offering a variety of visa options to applicants. One such option is the Conditional Green Card, which serves as a provisional status. The Conditional Green Card comes with its own set of regulations, eligibility criteria, and procedures to remove the conditions. In this article, Kasturi Law, LLC, a reputable team of Naperville immigration lawyers, outlines what a Conditional Green Card is, the types of conditional green cards available, and the steps to remove its conditions.
Conditional Green Card
A Conditional Green Card is a temporary, two-year green card that is issued to certain categories of immigrants. These categories may include individuals who have been married for less than two years at the time of application or investors. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issues this form of conditional permanent residence as a preliminary step before granting full, unconditional permanent residency.
- Marriage-Based Conditional Green Card: This is generally issued to individuals who have been married to a U.S. citizen or permanent resident for less than two years at the time their green card application is approved. The U.S. government issues this type of conditional permanent residence as a precautionary measure to mitigate marriage fraud cases — where someone marries a U.S. citizen merely to obtain lawful status. Holders of this Conditional Green Card must file to remove the conditions within 90 days before the card’s two-year expiration, proving that the marriage is legitimate and ongoing.
- Investor-Based Conditional Green Card: This is more commonly known as the EB-5 Investor Visa, and targets foreign nationals willing to invest substantial capital into new commercial enterprises in the United States. These enterprises must either create or maintain at least 10 full-time jobs for qualifying U.S. workers. Just like the marriage-based type, this one also comes with a two-year conditional period. To remove these conditions, the investor needs to demonstrate that the investment met all requirements and led to the job creation or retention as stipulated.
Given the complexities inherent to each of these types, as well as the stringent requirements for removing conditions, it’s crucial to engage the services of an experienced immigration lawyer in Naperville.
How to Remove Conditions on a Conditional Green Card
Successfully changing from a conditional permanent resident is not automatic; it requires an application process. Approximately 90 days before the two-year conditional period expires, you must file Form I-751 (for marriage-based) and Form I-829 (for investors), Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence. This is a critical step that you should not overlook, as failure to file can lead to deportation proceedings.
Here’s a simplified overview of the process:
- Collect Supporting Documents: These can include financial records, property deeds, or affidavits confirming the validity of your marriage or investment. The more comprehensive your documentation, the easier it will be to prove that you meet the requirements for removing conditions on your residency.
- File Form I-751 or I-829: Complete and submit the form, along with the required documents and fees. Make sure to do this 90 days before your Conditional Green Card is set to expire, as missing this deadline can lead to deportation proceedings. Naperville immigration lawyers can guide you through the form to ensure accuracy and completeness.
- Attend Biometrics Appointment: If required, you’ll have to attend a biometrics appointment for fingerprints. The process is generally straightforward but it’s essential to be punctual and have all required identification documents with you.
- Await Decision: USCIS will review your application and either approve it, request more evidence, or deny it. This decision can take some time, and it is important to keep tabs on your application status. If the USCIS requests more evidence, you should act swiftly and consult with your immigration lawyer in Naperville to provide the necessary documentation.
Each of these steps can be intricate and fraught with potential pitfalls. In some cases, an interview may be necessary. Usually, the interview serves as an additional measure to verify the legitimacy of your marriage or the bona fides of your investment. An immigration lawyer can guide you through each phase, helping to secure your application to remove the conditions.
Kasturi Law, LLC provides legal services for green card applications, including conditional green cards and the removal of conditions. Contact us today for a consultation to ensure your path to permanent residency is smooth and compliant with U.S. immigration laws.