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Green Card Renewal and Conditional Green Card

June 1st, 2011 by Eleanor Gaskin

Green Card Renewal

In order to renew and replace a Green Card same application form needs to be filed. It is the prime responsibility of every Lawful Permanent Resident to make sure that he or she possesses a valid Green Card. Green Cards that have been issued between 1979 and 1989 do not have expiration dates. All Green Cards issued after 1989 are valid only for ten years.

Note: Previous versions of the Green Card had no expiration date. People who are in possession of these cards should go in for Green Card renewal so that it is valid for ten years.

Applications for Green Card renewal needs to be filed as much as 6 months prior to the expiration of the card. Applications filed earlier than the 6 months will be rejected. Applications that are received after the expiration of the Green Card will not come under any penalization Green Card renewal allows a lawful permanent resident to maintain current documentation of his/her valid status.

Conditional Green Card

There are instances wherein some Green Card applicants are granted permanent residency only on a conditional basis. Such types of cards are known as Conditional Green Cards. They are issued to applicants who have applied for the status of a permanent residence purely based on marriage to a person who is already a US citizen or through entrepreneurial investment. They are valid for 2 years only. Conditional residents enjoy the right to be a US resident for a temporary period of time only.

There have been numerous fraudulent cases wherein some people marry a US citizen or make a fake business investment in the US solely for the purpose of getting a Green Card. After the 2 year conditional period of residency, conditional residents must be able to demonstrate with sufficient proof that their marriage or business investment remains valid even after the 2 years. This process is termed as removing the conditions on residence.

Once the conditions on residence are removed, the applicant is issued a permanent resident card that is valid for 10 years. The permanent resident status does not expire, but the card does and it has to be renewed every 10 years to keep it current and valid.

Can Conditional Green Cards be Renewed?

Like Green Card renewal, there is nothing like renewal of conditional Green Cards. Unless a person has applied to remove the residency conditions on the card, the status of that conditional resident also expires. An application to remove the conditions on residency should be filed within the 90 days before the expiration of conditional Green Card. If the card is already past the expiration date, then an application should be filed immediately to remove the conditions. An explanation indicating the reasons for the delayed filing should also be included. Detailed instructions regarding the procedure to remove conditions on conditional residency can be found at http://www.immigrationdirect.com/greencard/Form-I-751-Remove-Conditions-Residence-Greencard.jsp

Note: Conditional residents do not have any means to renew their Green Card like the Green card renewal process for permanent residents. They can only file an application to remove the conditions on their card. Failing to apply for removing the conditions on residency will lead to the termination of the legal status of a conditional resident.

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