What Is Conditional Resident Status?

Immigrants who have received a green card that displays a two-year expiration are known as conditional residents. It’s important to act fast to establish permanent residency because that expiration date applies to both the card and the individual’s residency status.

What Exactly Is Conditional Resident Status?

U.S. citizens can sponsor spouses so that they may become lawful residents of the United States. However, if at the time of approval of an application, the couple has been married less than two years, the foreign national will receive only conditional resident status that is valid for a two year period.

However if at the time of approval of an application, the couple has been married for two years or more already, the foreign national can then receive approval for lawful permanent status without any conditions.

Removal of Conditional Immigrant Status Conditions for Married Immigrants

The two-year conditional status is put into place to ensure that couples can prove that their marriage is real. Otherwise, USCIS may suspect that the couple only married to enable the immigrant to gain permanent residency in the U.S.

Although the couple may have been required to provide documentation proving that their marriage was legitimate when the immigrant originally obtained conditional resident status, more documentation will be required from the next two years to show the couple is still married and living together.

Immigrants in a marriage will need to file Form I-751 to remove the conditions of their immigration status.

If the immigrant wishes to remain eligible for approval without the need for an exception, he or she will need to stay married to the same spouse throughout the duration of their status. However, if certain circumstances render an immigrant unable to meet these requirements, certain exceptions may be available to help immigrants gain permanent resident status without the spouse’s assistance. For instance, if the foreign national can show that although the marriage has been terminated, at the time it was entered into, it was real and bona fide, the removal of conditions may still be approved. 

If the individual is unable to complete the I-751 form or any other circumstances prevent him or her from submitting documentation proving that the marriage was legitimate, removal proceedings may begin against the immigrant, potentially resulting in loss of conditional resident status and deportation.

If there were valid reasons for the inability to complete the necessary forms or provide ample documentation proving that the marriage was real by the expiration date, consult with an immigration law firm for additional advice and assistance.

What to Expect After Removal of Immigration Status Conditions

Once USCIS has reviewed the individual’s application, applicants will receive a receipt of completion, which will confirm the immigrant’s valid status while awaiting approval. Following this step, individuals will be required to provide fingerprints to check their records, and they may need to undergo an interview before USCIS accepts or denies the application.

Understanding these aspects of conditional resident status and steps for the removal of conditions can help make the immigration process smoother.