A conditional green card is issued to persons who received a green card through marriage and came to the US on a K1 visa. It comes with a two year validity. Permanent residence status will expire as soon as this two-year conditional period ends, and you may be deported or removed. To avoid being deported, it is crucial to file Form I 751, Petition to Remove the Conditions of Residence. The form has to be filed 90 days or less before the conditional residence expires. Once the USCIS approves this petition, the conditional status will be removed and you will receive a Permanent Resident card that will be valid for the next ten years.
It is important to file Form I 751 within 90 days before the card expires. It is always better to file it at the early end of the 90-day period. Likewise, do not file this petition before the 90-day period because if you file too early, the USCIS will most likely return your I-751 application.
Who May File Form I 751?
If you are still married, you can file a joint application with your US citizen or permanent resident spouse through whom you got the conditional resident status. If you have dependent children (on a K-2 visa) who obtained conditional resident status when you did and they entered the US within 90-days of your arrival, you have to include their names in your I-751 petition. Whereas, if your children got their conditional status ninety days after you obtained or adjusted your status, they have to file Form I 751 separately to remove the conditions. The same applies even if the conditional resident parent dies.
In circumstances where your spouse died or your marriage ended because of divorce or annulment, you can apply for a waiver for joint filing. But make sure you are able to prove that you got married with honesty and good intentions. In addition to this, you can get a waiver of joint filing if you are able to prove that you got married in good faith and have remained married, but have been battered or subjected to extreme cruelty by your US citizen or permanent resident spouse or the termination of your status would result in extreme hardship.
Request for waiver for joint filing should be adequately backed by proof to support your request. Copies of divorce decree or police, court or medical proof that you were abused or a death certificate showing that you spouse died are few of the important documents required.
While mailing your application package, make sure it includes a completed and signed Form I-751 and a copy of your Conditional Green Card. Also make sure that two passport-style photographs for you and children applying with you, are also be a part of the package. Apart from these, two completed fingerprint cards (Form FD-258) for you and any children applying with you and evidence showing that the marriage is a bonafide one and that it was entered in honesty and good faith should accompany the application. Do not forget to send the filing fees. If your conditional permanent resident card is lost, stolen or mutilated, you can get a replacement of the same by filing Form I-90 with the USCIS.