How do I change my green card from “Conditional” to “Permanent”?

How do I change my green card from "Conditional" to “Permanent”?

Question: I obtained a green card through marriage to a U.S. citizen. My green card is a conditional 2-year green card. How do I obtain a 10-year green card?

Answer: A conditional green card is valid for two years. In the last 90 days before the conditional green card expires, you must submit Form I-751 to apply to remove the conditional status. If your application is approved, you will receive a 10-year green card.

If you apply for a green card based on marriage to a U.S. citizen of lawful permanent resident, you might receive a conditional 2-year green card or a “permanent” 10-year green card. If, at the time your green card application is approved, you have been married more than two years, then you will receive a 10-year green card. But if you have been married less than two years at the time your green card is approved, you will receive a 2-year conditional green card.

Both two-year and ten-year green cards provide legal residency status and give the same rights and benefits.

Why does USCIS issue two-year conditional green cards?

Over the years, marriage-based green cards have been substantially abused. The relevant immigration laws assume that marriages less than two years old are more likely to be sham marriages – marriages that are entered into only to obtain a green card. By contrast, longer-term marriages are less likely to be fraudulent and more likely to be legitimate. By issuing two-year green cards, the U.S. government has a second opportunity to learn about the applicant and the applicant’s marriage after two years.

How can I change my conditional green card to a ten-year green card?

If you have a two-year green card, you can file an application for a ten-year green card 90 days before your conditional green card expires. You must file Form I-751, “Petition to Remove Conditions.” You cannot file Form I-751 earlier than 90 days before your green card expires, and you also should not file this application late.

What evidence should I submit when I apply to remove conditions on my green card?

When you apply to remove conditions on your green card, you must demonstrate to USCIS that you and your spouse continue to have a genuine marital relationship. You must submit evidence dating from the time you received your two-year green card through the present. You should submit: birth certificates of any children, evidence of shared assets and accounts, proof that you have been living together for the entire two-year period, and photos of you and your spouse from the past two years. 

Is there another interview?

Usually, USCIS will require you and your spouse to participate in an interview to determine the genuineness of your marriage. But if you submitted sufficient evidence of your relationship with your application to remove conditions, USCIS might waive the interview and simply grant your application.

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