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What does conditional permanent residence even mean?

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What is conditional permanent residence? Hi, I’m Jim Hacking, immigration lawyer practicing law throughout the United States at our office here in St. Louis, Missouri and in our new office in San Diego, California. So if you’re watching this video about conditional permanent residence, you’re probably in a scenario where you’re thinking about getting married or you have recently gotten married and you are applying for lawful permanent residence on that basis, or your spouse is applying for LPR status based on that marriage. And in order to cut down on immigration fraud, specifically in the marriage context, USCIS does not give a new green card holder person permanent, permanent green card. Now, only the federal government could come up with a concept like the conditional permanent residence. Permanent and conditional, those seem opposite to each other, don’t they? So anyway, in order to cut down on marriage fraud, USCIS has this two year rule, and here’s how the two year rule works:

So if you get married and if you apply for a green card for permanent residence status based on that marriage, and if on the day that you receive your green card, if on that day you’ve been married for two years and one day, you will receive a ten-year green card. If you’ve been married one year, 363 days on the day that your green card has been approved, then you’ll get a two year conditional green card. And of course anything under that, anything under two years you’re going to get a conditional permanent resident status. And what that means is at the end of those two years, of the next two years… So let’s do a scenario. At the end of those next two years, you’re going to have to file an I-751. So let’s do a scenario. Jim and Amani get married.

Amani is a foreign national from Egypt. Jim applies for an I-130 and a 45, and Amani gets her green card. And on the day that the green card is issued, Jim and Amani have been married for a year. It took about a year for their case to get processed, and now Amani is given a conditional green card. And let’s say she receives her conditional green card on May 8th, 2020. That means that before May 8th, 2022, Amani is going to have to file an I-751 to what’s called get the conditions on her lawful permanent residence status removed. So it’s a petition for removal on conditions. It’s an I-751 petition. And at the end of those two years, during that time period, hopefully you’re gathering up lots of marital evidence. You might have a child, something like that, and you can submit all this evidence to the government along with the I-751.

So usually the I-751 is filed jointly by the married couple, and they would file that application. And you can file it during the 90 days prior to the two year anniversary. So using our example, Amani and Jim could file the I-751 anytime from February 8th, 2022 all the way up to May 8. So you want to get it in a 90 day window. You usually want to file it as early as you can, because that’s going to help you get the ten-year green card sooner. And that’s what the 751 is all about. It’s all about getting those conditions removed and getting a permanent, permanent green card for the non-citizen spouse. And so that’s what a conditional permanent residence is. That’s how it works. That’s how you get the conditions removed. And we handle a lot of these cases. We’ve also been handling a lot of cases where the couple gets separated and divorced before they file the I-751.

That’s a topic for other videos. If you want to know more about that, just search on our YouTube channel for I-751 Solo. That’s what we call them in the office. And you’ll be getting more information about that. So generally if you get married and you get a green card, it’s only going to be good for two years unless the case has taken a really long time and your case is approved after that two year mark of when you first filed. And then if you get that conditional green card, you’re going to have to wait two more years and file an I-751 to get the conditions removed on your green card. And it isn’t two years from the date of marriage, it’s two years from that date on your conditional green card. So that’s really what starts that clock. That’s the same clock that starts when you are thinking about applying for citizenship.

So if you have questions about this, give us a call. (314)-961-8200. You can email us at info@hackinglawpractice.com. Be sure to join us in our Facebook group. It’s called Immigrant Home. We answer lots of questions and we have a lot of members in there now talking about immigration every single day. And then we also have our YouTube channel that you can subscribe to, and you get updates whenever we make videos like this one. And finally, be sure to join us every Tuesday and Thursday, usually at noon central time where we have the Immigration Answers Show and I go for an hour or so answering all the immigration questions that I can in that short amount of time on video.

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