After the I Do’s: What is a conditional Green Card?

Welcome to the Kazi Law Firm! We are a boutique law firm steeped in Texas tradition personifying the warmth and congeniality consistent with southern hospitality. We believe in preserving integrity and professionalism with true Texan charm, staying true to our roots, while providing essential, affordable legal services to all. Located just north of Dallas, Texas in the rapidly growing suburb of Frisco; the Kazi Law Firm concentrates on contracts drafting and review, immigration law, will & estates, real estate law, landlord, tenant, mediation, and general business law needs.

We have all seen the popularity of shows like Before the 90 Days and 90 Day Fiance on TLC. As a society, we are obsessed with the notion of finding love and since childhood, we have been inundated with fairy tales with happy endings. Fast forward to reality and we see that in some instances, the end is not exactly as romanticized.

In my practice, I am often asked about the requisite steps in obtaining a green card for a spouse. I want to start by taking a few steps back in describing what a conditional green card is. A conditional green card is issued to some residents who get their green card through marriage. Your green card is conditional if you were married for less than 2 years when you arrived in the United States on an immigrant visa or were approved for a green card through adjustment of status.

Unlike most green cards which are issued for 10 years, conditional green cards are only valid for 2 years. Before your conditional green card expires, you will be responsible for filing Form I-751 to remove the conditions on your residence.

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It is imperative to keep in mind that you must abide by the timeline dictated by the USCIS, which states that in the 90 days prior to your conditional green card expiration date, you must file the I-751. It is prudent to file timely and provide additional evidence with your application which includes jointly filed tax returns, birth certificates of children born during the marriage, joint mortgage documents, etc. In essence you are showing the legitimacy and true intent of your marriage based on building a life together, as opposed to a marriage of convenience purely for immigration purposes.

A word of caution here is that if you fail to file on time, you are banned from using your conditional green card for travel or work purposes. You also risk the possibility that USCIS will refer your case to Immigration Court. Needless to say, it would be wise and in your best interest to file within that 90-day window prior to expiration, not before, and certainly not after.

I built my law practice on the premise of being a life raft in a sea of sharks. I want to be an advocate for those that have been wronged and are too intimidated to seek help. My firm is here to explore your options, guide you through your legal journey, and give you that safe space to ask questions! There’s no such thing as a stupid question…Only the ones you don’t ask. So, my question to my clients is not “do you have any questions?” But rather “what questions do you have?”

As always, the Kazi Law Firm is standing by to help you in your time of need. Don’t hesitate to contact us today. We specialize in real estate law, landlord-tenant disputes, immigration, and wills & estate planning. Family is at the core of our practice. Just as we treat our family with respect and understanding, we treat yours. Come join the Kazi Law Firm family today!

Why swim alone in shark-infested waters when you don’t need to?