Renew 2 Year Green Card

A step-by-step guide to remove conditions on green card

Updated on August 23, 2020

If you were married less than 2 years when you obtained permanent residence through marriage or if you are entrepreneurs who obtained a conditional green card through investment, then you received a conditional green card and accordingly, you must renew 2 year green card.  Given it is much complicated to remove conditions on green card for EB-5 investors, it is advisable to get an experienced immigration attorney to deal with the application.  This article focuses on how to remove conditions on green card based on marriage, including:

1. Why need to remove conditions on green card?

You will get conditional permanent residence valid for 2 years if it is based on a marriage that was less than 2 years old on the day you were given permanent residence. The notation CR1, CR6 or CF1 on your permanent resident card (“green card”, “I-551”) indicates that you are a conditional resident.

A CR1 or CR6 or CF1 conditional resident has the same rights and responsibilities as a permanent resident. However, you must file a petition with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) to remove your conditional status. Failure to do so will result your removal or deportation from the United States.  

2. Am I eligible to renew 2 year green card?

Generally, you may apply to remove conditions on green card if you:

  • Are still married to the same U.S. citizen or permanent resident after 2 years;
  • Are a widow or widower who entered into your marriage in good faith;
  • Entered into a marriage in good faith, but the marriage ended through divorce or annulment; or
  • Entered into a marriage in good faith, but you were battered or subjected to extreme hardship by your U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse.

Not sure if you’re eligible to remove conditions on green card? You can free check eligibility through DYgreencard without providing any personal information. When you’re ready to apply, DYgreencard can guide you through every milestone of the renew 2 year green card process, starting with your Form I-751 all the way to the finish line. Learn more, or get started today.

3. When to file the application to remove conditions on green card?

If you and your spouse (the one who sponsor your green card) jointly file the petition (“joint filing), then the filing window is within the 90-day period before your green card expires. USCIS will reject the petition if you file too early.

If you file the petition without your spouse (“waiver filing”) because of divorce, under divorce process, battery or abuse by your spouse, death of spouse, etc. then you may file the petition anytime after you become a conditional resident, but before you are removed or deported from the U.S. If you are under divorce process and plan to submit a wavier filing, you should be alert. USCIS will request a final divorce judgment in 6-15 months after filing. If you fail to provide the divorce judgment, there is a risk that your application gets denied by USCIS.

The petition can be filed regardless of whether you are physically present in the U.S. at the time you file.

4. May I include my child in my application?

As long as your child who acquired conditional resident status on the same day as you or within 90 days thereafter, you may include him or her in your petition. Otherwise, the child will need to file a separate petition.

5. What documents needed to file the I-751 petition?

The following document list is good for joint filing only. Waiver filing is much more complicated and tricky; it is advisable to consult an experienced immigration attorney first.

  • Form I-751
  • $595 filing fee
  • $85 biometrics fee
  • $85 biometrics fee for each child included if any
  • Copy of green card (both sides)
  • Bona fide marriage documentation, for example:

       1).  birth certificate or pregnancy proof for child in common

       2).  joint federal and state tax returns

       3).  driver license or state ID with same address

       4).   joint bank account statements

       5).   joint credit card statements

       6).   joint lease

       7).   evidence of joint ownership in car, real estate or other asset

       8).   jointly liable mortgage or loan

       9).   family-plan health, dental or vision insurance policy

      10).   joint vehicle insurance policy

      11). utility bills in both names

      12).  life insurance, 401k or retirement account indicating one spouse has made the other a beneficiary

      13).  wedding pictures

      14).  pictures with families, friends, etc.

If you don’t have many documents to prove your marriage is real, you’d better submit 3-6 sworn affidavits from your relatives, friends, neighbors, colleagues, etc. who well know your marital relationship. 

DYgreencard prints out all your forms and documents, assembled precisely how USCIS prefers. We mail the whole package to your doorstep, with clear instructions on where to sign and send it to USCIS. Learn more about how we can help you, or get started today!

6. Where to file the I-751 petition?

If you live in:

Mail to:

Alaska, American Samoa, Arizona, Arkansas, Armed Forces – Pacific, California, Colorado, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Northern Mariana Islands, Oklahoma, Oregon, Palau, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming

For U.S. Postal Service (USPS) Priority Mail:

USCIS
P.O. BOX 21200
Phoenix, AZ 85036

For USPS Express Mail, FedEx, UPS, or DHL:

USCIS
Attn: I-751
1820 E. Skyharbor Circle S
Suite 100
Phoenix, AZ 85034

If you live in:

Mail to:

Alabama, Armed Forces – Europe, Armed Forced – the Americas, Connecticut, Delaware, Washington, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, U.S. Virgin Islands, Unknown, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia

For U.S. Postal Service (USPS) Priority Mail:

USCIS
P.O. BOX 660480
Dallas, TX 75266

For USPS Express Mail, FedEx, UPS, or DHL:

USCIS
Attn: I-751
2501 S State Hwy 121 Business
Suite 400
Lewisville, TX 75067

7. What happens after filing the I-751 petition?

 1) I-797 receipt notice

If you file the petition properly, USCIS will initially respond by mailing you a letter that confirms receipt of your petition. The receipt letter is formally known as Form I-797C, Notice of Action (see example below) and arrives approximately 4-6 weeks after filing. This I-797C will also extend your conditional residence for an additional 18 months while USCIS reviews your petition. You may renew your driver license with the receipt letter. You may also present it to HR to prove your employment authorization in the U.S. Moreover, you may present it to customs like CBP when making international travels.

I-797 receipt notice for I-751
I-797 receipt notice (extension letter) for I-751 petition

2) Appointment for biometrics

Approximately 8-24 weeks after filing, you will receive an appointment notice that assigns your biometrics appointment date, time and location. The location will generally be the USCIS Application Support Center nearest you. USCIS requires applicants to be fingerprinted for the purpose of conducting a security clearance and criminal background check. Don’t be alarmed — all applicants must have background checks. Learn more about appointment for biometrics in our Biometrics Appointment FAQ.

Quite often, some applicants will receive a letter from USCIS indicating that USCIS may reuse their biometrics information in the system, so no biometrics appointment will be scheduled.

 3) Request for evidence (most likely not)

If you have filed a complete petition with adequate evidence to prove a bona fide marriage, it is unlikely that you will receive a request for evidence. However, petitioners that have not provided sufficient evidence will receive this request in the mail. Normally, a request for evidence is issued in 6-15 months after the filing of the petition. It is important to respond to the letter with the requisite evidence and within the required time frame (normally 87 days from the issuance of this request). If you are uncertain of the necessary action, this is a good time to contact an immigration attorney.

 4) Interview appointment notice (some applicants will be waived the interview)

If you initially obtained your marriage green card through I-485 adjustment of status, and you have filed the petition jointly with your spouse with adequate evidence to prove a bona fide marriage, it is unlikely that you will receive an interview appointment notice, which means you will be waived the interview.

If you initially obtained your marriage green card through consular processing (means you entered the U.S. with an immigrant visa), you will receive an interview appointment notice.

No matter how you initially obtained your marriage green, as long as you file the petition without your spouse due to divorce, under divorce process, battery or abuse by your spouse, you will receive an interview appointment notice asking you to attend an interview.

The interview appointment notice will be mailed to you in 6- 15 months after you filed the petition. Again, it is a good time to contact an immigration attorney to get prepared for the interview.

 5) Receive 10 year green card

After USCIS has fully reviewed your petition, USCIS will make adjudication on your petition that is approved or denied. If your petition is approved, your 10 year permanent green card will be mailed to you. If your petition is denied, USCIS will mail you a notice explaining the reasons for the denial and a removal/deportation proceeding will be initiated.  For most petitions, USCIS will adjudicate within 18 months from the date of filing.


8. What if the I-751 petition is pending with USCIS while the 18-month extension has been expired?

You need to contact USCIS through phone (800-375-5283) or its virtual assistant Emma (https://www.uscis.gov/emma) to make an appointment at the USCIS local field office nearest you to get an I-551 stamp on your passport. I-551 stamp is valid for one year. With this stamp, you may renew your driver license, extend your employment authorization or make international travels.

9. May I apply for citizenship while the I-751 petition is pending with USCIS?

As long as you meet the eligibility requirements for naturalization (namely become a U.S. citizen), you may file Form N-400 while the petition is pending. The general eligibility requirements are:

At the time you file Form N-400,

  • you has been a lawful permanent resident for at least 3 years (your time as a conditional resident counts);
  • you have been married to and living with the same U.S. citizen spouse for the last 3 years; and
  • your spouse has been a U.S. citizen for the last 3 years.

Not sure if you’re eligible to apply for naturalization? You can free check eligibility through DYgreencard without providing any personal information. When you’re ready to apply, DYgreencard can guide you through every milestone of the naturalization process, starting with your Form N-400 all the way to the finish line. Learn more, or get started today.

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