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What is Conditional Residency?

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) sees a lot of fraudulent marriage cases every year. In an attempt to combat fraudulent marriages, immigration issues conditional green cards.

What does that mean?

If you have been married for less than 2 years when you obtain your green card, immigration will issue you a 2-year conditional green card rather than a 10-year permanent green card.

When it comes to your 2-year mark to obtain your 10-year permanent green card, immigration will ask you to prove that your marriage is or was a ‘real, good-faith marriage’. Immigration authorities will examine the application closely to determine whether or not your marriage is the real thing and you didn’t get married for the sole purpose of evading immigration laws to obtain residency and a green card.

What rights do I have on a conditional green card?

Conditional residents get the same rights as permanent ones, like the ability to enter and exit the U.S., accept employment offers, and work towards citizenship. The key difference between conditional and permanent residency is that conditional green cards expire after two years.

After this time, the immigrant must prove that the marriage is ongoing and legitimate or if divorced, they must prove that the marriage was in good faith and either ask for a waiver based on divorce or abuse.

No matter what your immigration status is, you have the right to fair treatment, and an immigration attorney can make sure that you get it. Reach out to the team at JLB Law Group to help you with the legal process!


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