What is a Conditional Resident?

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What is a Conditional Resident?

Obtaining a green card is something many immigrants in the country dream about. However, not all green cards are created equally. In some cases, a person may obtain a green card and they simply have to renew it when the time comes, or they may apply for citizenship. In other instances, a person may obtain a green card but be considered a conditional resident. It is crucial that any green card holder knows what type of green card they have and if necessary, what conditions must be removed.

What is a Conditional Permanent Resident?

Immigrants are considered a conditional permanent resident if they are married to a United States citizen or if they are an entrepreneur that holds an employment-based green card. The USCIS uses conditional permanent residency for one main purpose. They want to ensure the reason a person has for entering the country is valid. As such, they want to ensure a marriage is legitimate or that a business owner did not invest in the business simply to obtain a green card.

Conditional permanent residents can reap all of the benefits that lawful permanent residents are entitled to, but their status is conditional. Conditional residents still need to renew their green card when it expires, and the conditional status may not apply if they are able to remove the conditions.

Removing Conditional Status

All conditional permanent residents must file specific documentation to have their conditional status removed. Green cards that are marriage-based are valid for two years. Holders of these green cards must file Form I-751 with their spouse at least 90 days before the expiry date to remove conditional status. 

Entrepreneurs must file Form I-829 to remove all of the conditions. When filing Form I-829, individuals must prove:

  • The investment required into the business was not made with the sole intention of obtaining a green card,
  • An actual investment was made,
  • The business owner is actively involved with the business, and
  • The business enterprise generated the number of work opportunities for employees within the United States

Failing to remove conditions on a green card comes with very serious consequences. Any immigrant that does not remove the conditions on their green card runs the risk of being placed into removal proceedings and being deported from the country. This has very serious consequences. Deportation can result in an immigrant being denied entry into the country in the future. Additionally, anyone with a green card that is deported may place their family at risk for deportation as well, if those relatives have green cards that are dependent on the conditional resident.

Our Illinois Immigration Lawyers can Help Remove Conditions

The concept of conditional residents, and how to remove those conditions, seems straightforward, but it is not. At Kriezelman, Burton & Associates, LLC, our knowledgeable Chicago immigration lawyers can help. We know the requirements of conditional residents and can help you through the process of effectively removing any conditions. Call us today or fill out our online form to schedule a confidential consultation and to learn more about how we can help with your case.