What Exactly Is a Conditional Green Card Holder?
A conditional green card holder is someone who has been issued a 2-year green card, which is good for two years. The condition of the green card is the 2-year limit because the spouse has only been married to the petitioner for less than two years. After the initial two years of marriage, the spouse has to request the government to remove the condition on their 2-year green card and be issued a non-conditional green card, good for 10 years.
What Is A Non-Conditional Green Card Holder?
A non-conditional green card holder is someone who has been issued a 10-year green card, which is good for 10 years. If the petitioner and the beneficiary of the relationship is not a spouse (a child, parent, brother, or sister), then they generally get a 10-year green card. If at the time the green card is granted, the spouse and petitioner have been married for more than 2 years, then the spouse would get a 10-year green card.
Unless the spouse has already gone through the naturalization process and become a U.S. citizen, the spouse does have to make sure to file for a renewal 90 days before the end date of their 10-year green card.
Note: Immigration will reject any applications for renewal if submitted earlier than 90 days before the end date.
What Are Your Rights And Responsibilities As A Conditional Green Card Holder?
As a conditional green card holder (2-year green card), you need to make sure of the following:
- In any year you are required to file, you file a federal or state income tax return.
- You file Form I-751 90 days before the expiration of your 2-year conditional green card to remove the condition off of your green card.
- If you travel outside of the U.S., you have an unexpired passport along with your conditional green card that is still valid for any type of travel.
- You cannot be outside of the country for more than a year at a time. If you have to, then you have to request a special re-entry permit to get into the U.S. Otherwise, when you get back, Customs & Borders can interpret that conduct of staying outside of the country for more than one year as you having abandoned your green card.
- It’s better if you can limit your travel outside the country to less than 6 months at a time because being outside the country will affect the time frame of when you will be eligible to apply for citizenship.
What Are The Rights And Responsibilities Of A Non-Conditional Green Card Holder?
It’s similar to a conditional green card holder except you don’t have to file the I-751. But if you travel outside the country, make sure you travel on an unexpired passport with a valid green card. If your 10-year green card will expire, make sure to file an I-90 form 90 days before its end date. Make sure to file your taxes when they are due and make sure you’re in compliance with all U.S. laws.
Can I Travel On A Conditional Green Card Inside And Outside Of The United States?
Yes, just make sure you have an unexpired passport and your conditional green card is still valid.
If a conditional green card holder is filing that I-751 to remove the condition off of it, they’ll get a receipt. This receipt gives them an extra 24-month extension after the end date.
So if they’re waiting on the approval of that conditional green card going into a non-conditional green card to travel, they have to make sure they have an unexpired passport, their conditional green card, whether it expires or not. Then, that I-751 receipt notice indicates a 24-month extension on that conditional green card.
Can I Travel On A Non-Conditional Green Card Inside And Outside Of The United States?
Yes, just make sure you have an unexpired passport and a valid green card.
For both conditional and non-conditional green card holders, if you have any type of criminal history, even if it’s probation, you may want to check with an immigration attorney before you make any type of travel plans. Certain criminal offenses, no matter how long ago they were, even if it was probation, might prevent your return to the U.S. While you can leave the country, you might not be able to return.
Can I Register To Vote With A Conditional Green Card Inside The United States?
No. You have to be a U.S. citizen to vote in the United States.
Can I Register To Vote With A Non-Conditional Green Card Inside The United States?
Again, no. You have to be a U.S. citizen to vote in the United States.
For both conditional and non-conditional green card holders, you have to be very aware of any kind of legal document you’re filling out.
Sometimes for a health insurance policy, the form asks for your citizen status. If you accidentally mark that you’re a U.S. citizen when you’re not, you can run into some major problems. If you’re applying for a job and you’re filling out a W9 or anything that asks for immigration status, make sure that you do not mark that you are a U.S. citizen when you’re still a conditional or non-conditional green card holder.
For more information on Immigration Law in Texas, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (817) 532-5666 today.