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What Will Happen if My Conditional Green Card Expires?

 Posted on December 27, 2022 in Immigration

Plano Green Card LawyerWhen an immigrant receives a Green Card, they are given lawful permanent resident status, allowing them to continue living in the U.S. indefinitely, work for U.S. employers, and travel both inside and outside the United States. However, some immigrants will initially qualify for conditional Green Cards that will be valid for two years. At the end of the two-year period, a person will need to take steps to remove the conditions on their Green Card, and if they fail to complete this process, their status as a lawful permanent resident will expire.

Repercussions of an Expired Card

If a conditional Green Card expires, a person will no longer have authorization to live and work in the United States. They may also lose certain rights and benefits, such as Social Security and Medicare benefits, travel privileges, and eligibility for government-funded programs. If a person loses their status as a lawful permanent resident, they may become eligible for deportation. It is important to take the correct steps to remove the conditions on permanent residence before the expiration date. In situations where a Green Card has expired, a person can consult with an attorney to determine their options. In some cases, it may be possible to renew a Green Card or remove the conditions on permanent residence after the expiration date has passed. 

Removing Conditions on Your Green Card

Within 90 days before a conditional Green Card expires, a person should file Form I-751 with U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). In cases where a person received a Green Card after getting married to a U.S. citizen spouse, both spouses will be required to file Form I-751 together, and they will need to demonstrate that they entered into the marriage in good faith and that the marriage was legally valid. If a person's spouse died prior to the expiration of their conditional Green Card, they may file Form I-751 on their own. 

The termination of a marriage through divorce, annulment, or declaration of invalidity will typically disqualify a person from removing the conditions on permanent residence. However, waivers may be available if a person can demonstrate that their deportation would result in extreme hardship, that their divorce occurred through no fault of their own, or that they were the victim of abuse or cruelty by their spouse.

When submitting Form I-751, a person must include supporting documentation such as copies of their marriage certificate and joint tax returns filed with their spouse. After the form is submitted, USCIS will review it and schedule an interview with the immigrant and their spouse where they can verify all documents provided in the application package and ask questions related to the application itself. The purpose of the interview is to make sure that all information submitted is accurate and that the marriage was valid. 

What Happens if Form I-751 Is Not Filed on Time? 

If a conditional Green Card expires before filing Form I-751, USCIS will automatically terminate the person's permanent resident status and send a notice to the person letting them know that they have failed to remove the conditions on permanent residence within the applicable time period. A person will also receive a Notice to Appear in immigration court for a deportation hearing. At this hearing, the person may provide evidence showing that they have complied with their requirements and showing why they should not be deported. Form I-751 can be filed after the expiration date, but a person will need to provide a written explanation for their failure to file the form on time, and USCIS will review the case to determine whether they had a valid reason for their late filing and whether an extension should be granted.

Contact a Dallas Conditional Green Card Lawyer

Renewing a conditional Green Card can be a confusing process, and it is important to take the correct steps within the appropriate time limits. If you have missed the deadline for filing Form I-751, or if you have encountered any other issues that have affected your permanent resident status, Law Office of Jae Lee can help you understand your options and advise you of the best steps to take to avoid deportation or other consequences. For legal help with these issues, contact our Plano Green Card attorneys at 214-295-3014 and set up a free consultation.



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