Format: Instant Download
The main difference between a green card and a green card with conditions is that as green card holder with conditions your resident status will expire after two years unless you remove the conditions on your green card, and also the green card itself expires after 2 years. In the case of permanent residents without conditions, their status as a resident usually doesn’t have an expiration date and they can keep their resident status infinitely as long as they continue being eligible to be a US resident. The permanent green card itself might expire (usually in 10 years), but not the permanent resident status, and the process to renew and receive a new permanent green card is relatively easy. Even though the status as a permanent resident doesn’t expire, there are situations when the person is not longer eligible to have a green card and therefore can lose the status.
1. Green Card for Married Couples
2. Green card for Entrepreneurs Investors
One of the main reasons for the conditions is to make sure that the marriage is legitimate and it was not just a way to obtain a green card. In the case of investors a similar condition apply, if you obtain a green card through investment, you would first receive a conditional green card. The United States immigration department wants to make sure that the investor entrepreneur has a valid investment and is complying with all the immigration requirements for such business and investment, and for this reason initially they are issued a conditional green card. Then upon before the expiration of the 2 year conditional green card, immigration will review the status of the marriage or the business to verify that everything is legitimate and finally issue a permanent green card.
In the case of people who applied for the green card through marriage, to be eligible to receive a residence card (green card) without conditions, you must have been married for at least 2 years on the day you were given permanent residence. Applicants for a green card receive a conditional resident status when they have been married for less than two years on the day receiving their approval for a green card and lawfully admitted to the United States on an immigrant visa, or received adjustment of status.
• TIP: If you are applying for a green card through marriage and you have been married for almost two years, sometimes is better to wait to finalize your applications for a few months until you are already married for 2 years, so that you can receive a Green Card without conditions.
In the case of couples that have been married for less than 2 years, the alien will receive a conditional green card that allows him to work and live in the U.S., but both the alien and his American spouse are required to file together a Form, a Joint Petition to Remove Conditional Basis of Alien’s Permanent Resident Status, before 2 years of having the conditional green card. For more information and instructions on how to remove the conditions in your green card order this guide now.
In general, if you have a non-conditional green card or permanent residence, you can keep your green card even if you get divorced or your husband/wife died, however if your green card or residence is conditional, then you and your husband are required to file jointly to remove the conditions on your residency using a Form (Joint Petition to Remove Conditional Basis of Alien’s Permanent Resident Status) during the 90-day period before 2 years of having a conditional permanent resident status. However if you get divorced you won't be able to remove the conditions because both yourself and your former husband must file together the Form Petition to Remove Condition on Residence, and to file the form the marriage must still be valid. The good news is that in some special cases it is possible to obtain a waiver to file this form to remove conditions alone, without your spouse, but the USCIS wants to make sure that your marriage was real and not just to obtain the Green Card. To be able to obtain this waiver the marriage needs to completely be terminated, not just in process of divorce, even if your marriage was annulled you are still able to request the waiver. If you are unable to file a joint petition to remove the conditions because the divorce or annulment proceedings have commenced but is not completed yet, then you may not apply for a waiver of the joint filing requirements based on the “good faith” exception, and also if the alien’s conditional resident status is terminated because he was not able to timely file a Form, and he is placed in removal proceeding (deportation), then he may request a continuance from an immigration judge to allow for the finalization of the divorce or annulment proceeding and be issue a temporary I-551 during the pendency of his case before the immigration judge.
• Note: if your green card through marriage is not conditional the fact that you get divorced doesn't affect your permanent resident status; however this will change the rules about the waiting time before you will be eligible to apply for the citizenship. Once you have a permanent resident card for a few years, you are eligible to apply for the U.S. citizenship. If you are still married and with a permanent green card, you can apply for the citizenship of the U.S. faster, but if you are divorced the required years increase, so you need to wait to have more years of permanent residency with a green card in the U.S. to be eligible to apply for the U.S. citizenship.
Death of Spouse
If you have a conditional green card and your husband or wife died, then you can still remove the conditional status of your green card as long as you can prove that the marriage was entered into good faith.
Abused Spouse and Child
There are special rules for divorced caused by abusive spouses including domestic violence and mental abuse that must be consulted with the USCIS, but in general a person can self-petition to remove the conditions on the green card if the alien can prove that the marriage was entered in good faith, and he or she can demonstrate that the battering or extreme mental cruelty led to or caused the divorce.
Entrepreneur investors are given a conditional permanent residence status (green card), that is valid during two years only. After 2 years, the investor must apply to remove the conditions of his green card to obtain a permanent Green Card. Immigrant status granted based on this petition will be conditional and valid for 2 years only. After having a conditional permanent resident card during almost two years, you must apply to remove the conditions in your green card based on the ongoing nature of the investment, by filing a Form with Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions along with the appropriate processing fees and documentation required. In addition to the official forms, individuals may be required to present evidence of the business and investment, including tax returns, audited financial statements, and other business documents required to remove the conditions on the Green Card of an entrepreneur investor.
Learn how to apply to remove the conditions on a green card, order this guide for a set of answer to frequently asked questions, to learn how to access the official application forms, instructions and general immigration information.