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What is “Conditional” Residency?

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Understanding Conditional Resident Status

Obtaining conditional permanent resident status in the United States can typically happen in one of two ways: you are either the spouse or child of a lawful permanent resident. As a conditional resident, you have a Green Card for two years and have nearly all the same rights as a permanent resident. After this two-year period, you can petition to remove the conditions to allow you to fully become a permanent resident.

Obtaining Conditional Residency

If you obtained your conditional permanent resident status through marriage, then you will need to petition for the removal of conditions within 90 days before your second anniversary as a conditional resident. If you do not petition for the removal of conditions, then you will automatically lose your legal status and may be removed from the United States.

Removing conditions is done by filing a Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence, with USCIS. You will need to include evidence that your marriage is real and not just for immigration purposes. This can include joint ownership of property, birth certificates of any children born into the relationship, and financial records showing joint accounts or investments.

Potential Risk Factors and Challenges

There are a few potential risk factors that could make it more difficult for you to obtain conditional residency or affect your ability to petition later to have the conditions removed. These include:

  • You entered into the marriage in order to obtain a Green Card.
  • You or your spouse have been convicted of certain crimes.
  • You fail to meet the income requirements for joint filing.

If any of these circumstances apply to you, it is still possible to obtain conditional residency, but you may face additional challenges. You may also want to speak with an attorney before beginning the process.

Experienced Immigration Attorneys

The team at Maney | Gordon | Zeller, P.A. is dedicated to ensuring that you understand what’s needed throughout the immigration process to help you have a successful outcome. Our team has over 40 years of combined experience helping people achieve their American dream.

Schedule a free consultation to discuss your options today by calling (800) 708-4399.


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