There are two types of Green cards or Permanent Resident cards issued by the USCIS. The first one is a ten year valid Green card and the second one is a two year valid Conditional Green Card. The conditional Green card is issued when you have applied for a Green card based on a marriage to a U.S citizen or you have made a financial investment in the U.S.
Conditional Permanent Resident Card
In most of the cases, conditional Green card is marriage based, where the marriage is less than two years old at the time of applying for Permanent Residence for the spouse of a U.S citizen. During the two year conditional residence period, you are required to build a record of your relationship together. When the two year conditional residence period comes to an end, you can submit proof of your married relationship over the past two years and get the conditions on your Green card removed. This will make you a Permanent Resident and you will be issued a ten year valid Green card. This procedure of Conditional Green card issued by the USCIS is to prevent fraudulent marriages or “marriage for immigration benefits.”
You cannot renew a Conditional Green card, you can only remove the conditions.
Application to remove conditions
If your Green card is marriage based, to remove the conditions and maintain your permanent resident status here in the U.S, you must complete and file Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Permanent Residence. This is a 11- page form and has to be completed and filled in by both, the husband and the wife. You must file this application jointly with your spouse, 90 days prior to the expiration of your Conditional Green Card. If you do not file within the 90 day time period, your status as a Permanent Resident will be revoked resulting in serious consequences.
If you have obtained your Green Card based on an investment in the U.S, you must file Form I-829, Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions on a Green Card, to remove the conditions on your Green Card, also 90 days prior to the expiration of the Conditional Green Card.
The application packet must contain
A completed application form (Form I-751/ Form I-829),
A copy of the front and back of the Permanent Resident card,
Two passport style identical color photographs.
Appropriate USCIS fees for processing the application
Supporting documents showing proof of your marriage.
Documents to be submitted as proof of “Good Faith Marriage”
Here are a list of documents that you can submit to the USCIS to prove your marriage is genuine. You can choose to submit as many as possible of the documents listed below.
Your marriage Certificate (translated to English if in a foreign language)
Lease/ Mortgage showing joint occupancy/ownership of the residence
Joint savings and checking accounts
Joint insurance policies
Joint tax returns (Federal/State)
Joint Credit Card loans
Birth Certificates of your children
A copy of your Driver’s license or ID showing the same address
Few photographs of you travelling together or taken at a family gathering, your wedding pictures with the place, occasion and date mentioned behind
Maximum of 6 signed and notarized affidavits from your friends and colleagues who can establish that your marriage is a genuine one.
Waiver of Joint Filing Requirement
If you are requesting a waiver from jointly filing for removing the conditional residence on your Green Card, you must establish one of the following in order to be eligible to apply alone.
Waiver based on death: If the U.S citizen spouse has died.
Waiver based on divorce: If you had a genuine marriage but resulted in annulment or divorce.
Waiver based on extreme cruelty: If the U.S citizen has subjected you to extreme cruelty/violence/battery.
Waiver based on extreme hardship: If termination of your resident status and subsequent removal would result in extreme hardship in your future.
The immigration waiver can be applied on the same Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditional Residence.