What Is Conditional Permanent Residence?

American Flag and citizenship paperwork

A conditional permanent resident receives a Green Card that is valid for 2 years. A conditional permanent residence status is granted if you and your spouse had been married for less than two years when your Green Card (visa) is approved. Your Green Card will be “conditional” and only valid for two years. The two-year period is measured from the time residency is granted. This is to prevent marriage fraud – people who marry only to get a Green Card. 

A marriage Green Card, called a conditional Green Card, is valid for only 2 years, and the designation “CR1” on the physical card stands for “conditional resident.” A conditional Green Card holder must file Form I-751 to “remove the conditions” and obtain a permanent Green Card. A conditional Green Card is issued to a spouse who has been married for less than 2 years at the time their Green Card was first approved.

After two years, you have to prove that your marriage is real to qualify for a “permanent” Green Card, which is valid for 10–years and is renewable. You can remove the conditions of your green card through an I-751 Petition to Remove Conditions.

  • You should file the petition during the 90 days before your green card expires.
  • An I-751 is a joint petition. You and your spouse apply together to remove the conditions of your residence.
  • You need to be able to prove to USCIS that your marriage is real. Proof includes documents, photos, children, testaments, joint bank accounts and other evidence that you live as a married couple.

A conditional card cannot be renewed. If you miss your removal of conditions filing deadline, your status will be changed to unlawful.

If your marriage is terminated or you are separated you should speak to an immigration attorney about applying for a I-751 waiver of conditions.

If you are married to a US citizen and received a marriage visa with CR1 conditional status, contact the Immigration Simplified attorneys to advise you on your removal of conditions petition. Please contact our office or call us at (312) 883-9944.

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