Removing Conditional Permanent Resident Status (for Green Card Based on Marriage)
- Am I Eligible to Remove Conditional Resident Status?
- The Process of Removing Conditional Resident Status
- How Do I Apply to Remove Conditional Resident Status?
- Personal Interview to Remove Conditional Resident Status
- Presence in the U.S.
- Miss the Deadline and You May Be Deported
- Waiving the Joint Filing Requirement
- Work Permits
- Checking My Application Status
- How Can I Appeal?
- Help! with Removing Conditional Resident Status
Am I Eligible to Remove Conditional Resident Status?
You may apply to remove your conditional resident status (from your Green Card obtained through marriage) if:
- You are still married to the same U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident after two years (your children may be included in your application if they received their conditional resident status at the same time that you did or within 90 days).
- You are a widow or widower of a marriage that was entered into in good faith.
- You entered into a marriage in good faith, but the marriage was ended through divorce or annulment.
- You entered into a marriage in good faith, but either you or your child were battered or subjected to extreme hardship by your U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse.
- You are a child and cannot be included in the application of your parents for a valid reason.
- The termination of your conditional resident status would cause extreme hardship to you.
Please see USCIS Form I-751 (Petition to Remove the Conditions on Residence) for more specific eligibility requirements.
The Process of Removing Conditional Resident Status
A lawful permanent resident (Green Card holder) is given the privilege of living and working in the United States permanently. Your permanent residence status will be conditional if it is based on a marriage that was less than two years old on the day you were given permanent residence. You are given conditional resident status on the day you are lawfully admitted to the United States on an immigrant visa or receive adjustment of status. Your permanent resident status is conditional, because you must prove that you did not get married to evade the immigration laws of the United States.
- You and your spouse must apply together to remove the conditions on your residence. You should apply during the 90 days before your second anniversary as a conditional resident. The expiration date on your Permanent Resident Card (commonly known as a "Green Card") is also the date of your second anniversary as a conditional resident. If you do not apply to remove the conditions in time, you could lose your conditional resident status and be removed from the country.
- If you are no longer married to your spouse, or if you have been battered or abused by your spouse, you can apply to waive the joint filing requirement. In such cases, you may apply to remove the conditions on your permanent residence any time after you become a conditional resident, but before you are removed from the country.
- If your child received conditional resident status within 90 days of when you did, then your child may be included in your application to remove the conditions on permanent residence. Your child must file a separate application if your child received conditional resident status more than 90 days after you did.
How Do I Apply to Remove Conditional Resident Status?
Please see Application to Remove Conditional Resident Status (from Marriage-Based Green Card). The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will extend your conditional resident status while it reviews your application.
Personal Interview to Remove Conditional Resident Status
You and your spouse must appear for a personal interview at the district office that serves that area where you live. However, the director of the regional service center where you file your petition has the discretion to waive the interview requirement. The director will review the petition to determine whether an interview is required. If the director is satisfied based on the written petition that your marriage was not entered into in order to obtain immigration benefits, he or she may waive the interview requirement and approve the petition. If the director is not satisfied of the validity of your marriage based on the petition, he or she will forward the petition to the district office to conduct an interview.
Presence in the U.S.
The USCIS Form I-751 (Petition to Remove the Conditions on Residence) can be filed regardless of whether you are physically present in the United States at the time that you file. However you must return to the United States with your spouse and your children in order to comply with the interview requirement.
Miss the Deadline and You May Be Deported
If you fail to properly file Form I-751 (Petition to Remove the Conditions on Residence) within the 90-day period before your second anniversary as a conditional resident, your conditional resident status will automatically be terminated and the USCIS will order removal proceedings against you. You will receive a notice from the USCIS telling you that you have failed to remove the conditions, and you will also receive a Notice to Appear at a hearing. At the hearing you may review and rebut the evidence against you. You are responsible for proving that you complied with the requirements (the USCIS is not responsible for proving that you did not comply with the requirements).
The Form I-751 can be filed after the 90-day period if you can prove in writing to the director of the Regional Service Center that there was good cause for failing to file the petition on time. The director has the discretion to approve the petition and restore your permanent resident status.
Waiving the Joint Filing Requirement
If you are unable to apply with your spouse to remove the conditions on your residence, you may request a waiver of the joint filing requirement. You may request consideration of more than one waiver provision at a time. You may request that the Service consider more than one basis for a waiver at the same time. If the waiver is approved the conditions on your conditional residence will be removed.
You may request a waiver of the joint petitioning requirements if:
- Your deportation or removal would result in extreme hardship
- You entered into your marriage in good faith, and not to evade immigration laws, but the marriage ended by annulment or divorce, and you were not at fault in failing to file a timely petition.
- You entered into your marriage in good faith, and not to evade immigration laws, but during the marriage you were battered by, or subjected to extreme cruelty committed by your U.S. citizen of legal permanent resident spouse, and you were not at fault in failing to file a joint petition.
Please see USCIS Form I-751 (Petition to Remove the Conditions on Residence) for more specific information on waivers.
As a legal permanent resident, you should have received a Permanent Resident Card (commonly referred to as a Green Card). This card will continue to prove that you have a right to live and work in the United States permanently. If you file your USCIS Form I-751 (Petition to Remove the Conditions on Residence) on time, the USCIS will extend your conditional resident status for up to 12 months while your Form I-751 petition is under review.
Checking My Application Status
You may check the status of your application or case online, by phone, or by contacting an appropriate USCIS office. For details see USCIS Case Status: Check USCIS Case Status for Visas and Immigration. You may also want to review US Visa Wait Times and USCIS Immigration Processing Times. For more assistance, see HELP! (below).
How Can I Appeal?
If your application to remove the conditions on your permanent residence is denied, you will receive a letter that will tell you why the application was denied. The process to remove you from the country will begin as soon as your application is denied. You will be allowed to have an immigration judge review the denial of your application during removal proceedings. During this review, USCIS must prove that the facts on your application were untruthful and that your application was properly denied. If the immigration judge decides to remove you from the country, you may appeal this decision.
Generally, you may appeal within 33 days after the immigration judge decides to remove you from the country. After your appeal form and a required fee are processed, the appeal will be referred to the Board of Immigration Appeals in Washington, D.C. For more information, see How to Appeal if USCIS Denied My Petition or Application (US Immigration, Green Card Denial).
- Have a specific question? To help you find an answer quickly, we have placed "Ask a Visa & Immigration Lawyer" boxes on this page. Simply type a question in any of the boxes to receive a response online from a visa and immigration lawyer.
- For assistance, contact your nearest USCIS District Office or Sub Office. This link provides telephone numbers, addresses, directions, office hours, local filing procedures, and more.
- Or, call the national USCIS toll-free information service at 1-800-375-5283.
- You may also want to seek the advice of an immigration attorney (this link will help you find the right lawyer for your case), or an immigrant assistance organization. A list of accredited organizations and individuals is maintained by the Executive Office of Immigration Review, which also maintains a list of free legal service providers.
- For assistance outside of the U.S., contact the nearest U.S. Consulate or Embassy
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