CR1 (Conditional Resident) visa is a category that the government agency uses to identify a conditional legal permanent resident spouse of a U.S. citizens or green card holders (lawful permanent residents).
A CR1 visa holder can legally enter the U.S. to live and stay with their U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services USCIS grants conditional residence to couples who have been married for less than two years when their residence is granted.
If you or your spouse are a foreign national who recently arrived in the U.S. on a marriage visa, you probably want to learn more about the conditions of your green card and essential things to consider before applying for permanent residency.
Foreign nationals who have been married to a U.S. citizen spouse for less than two years when they arrive in the U.S. on an immigrant visa and are approved for a green card (adjustment of status) will be granted a conditional green card.
In other words, the immigrant will obtain a CR1 visa, which needs to be renewed after another two years. This might sound complicated, but don’t worry- in this article, you will find an explanation of the most important parts of the conditional green cards process.
CR1 Conditional Resident Green Card for Spouses
So, as we mentioned in the introduction, the conditional green card is valid for two years. To remove conditions, a conditional green card holder has to file Form I-751, “removal of conditions.”
Upon the approval of the Form I-751, the conditional green card holders will obtain a marriage based green card with no conditions.
To get the marriage-based green card, you must prove that your relationship (the relationship between the U.S. citizen/green card holder and conditional resident green card holder) is bona fide and not entered only for immigration purposes.
Only in case of bona fide marriage, conditional permanent resident receives a “permanent” green card. Once you succeed in removing conditions with form I-751, your status will remain as a legal permanent residence. The permanent green card is valid for 10–years, and you are allowed to renew it.
Cr1 visa is not the only visa that grants conditional residency. EB investor visa holder have the same rights and are also qualified for conditional resident status.
What is Form I-751?
Form I-751, the Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence, is an immigration form used by the conditional green card holder to remove conditions of a CR-1 visa and get permanent resident status.
Submitting form I-751 is a relatively straightforward process. Still, there can be essential timing conditions and different reasons for the denial. This is why we advise you to contact an immigration attorney who will guide you through the process. Contact us TODAY by calling 1-216-696-6170 or book your consultation online.
Who Files Form I-751?
Unlike I-130 Petition that has to be filed by the U.S citizen spouse, Form I-751 requires both spouses, the marriage-based green card seeker, and the sponsoring spouse to file this form jointly.
Earlier, we mentioned that some cases would allow the marriage-based green card applicant to file Form I-751 alone.
This might be the case in special circumstances when:
- The sponsoring spouse died: In cases when the sponsoring spouse dies before the conditional green card holder files the form I-751, the applicant has to provide spouse’s death certificate
- The marriage ended in divorce or annulment (you can provide marriage counseling evidence, if any)
- The marriage-based Green Card applicant is a victim of battering or subject to extreme hardship by the sponsoring spouse.
When To File Form I-751?
It is essential to file Form I-751 timely. Timely filing means that if you submit Form I-751 too early, USCIS may return the filing.
On the other side, if you file the form I-751 too late, USCIS will deny it, which may put you in the removal proceedings.
How Conditional Permanent Resident Status Can Become Permanent Resident Status?
The conditional residency can become permanent residence.
To remove conditions of your green card, you will have to submit a Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions by following specific rules.
4 Steps to Remove Conditional Resident status
#File the petition I-751
File the petition within 90 days of receiving your green card and before your conditional green card expires. If you submit it after the expiration date, your legal permanent residency will be terminated. Since this petition is a joint petition, apply it with your spouse. The filing fee is currently $680, but make sure that you have up to date information and visit USCIS website.
#Prove that your marriage is bona fide
Submit supporting documents such as photos, birth certificates of your children, joint bank accounts, and other evidence proving that you live together as a married couple.
#Get legal advice
Especially if you or your spouse have had a previous marriage that is terminated. Your immigration attorney will help you apply for anI-751 waiver of conditions, or if you have missed filing the removal of conditions petition because you might still be able to rectify the matter.
#Attend the interview
If required: Before April 7, 2022, couples seeking removal of residency conditions had to attend an interview with a USCIS officer. Now, USCIS may choose to waive the interview requirement if the evidence submitted is strong enough to confirm the marriage is legitimate.
What Happens If You Don’t Remove the Conditions on Conditional Green Card?
Failing to submit Form I-751 as required (with required documents) will automatically set “out of status” and dismiss your conditional permanent resident status once your card expires. Unfortunately, such action results in deportation proceedings from the U.S., and you will start accruing “unlawful presence,” risking being barred from the United States for three or ten years.
With the conditional two-year period, the U.S. government aims to prevent marriage fraud. Therefore, conditional green card holders must provide firm evidence about their marriage.
When Citizenship and immigration services USCIS Denies Form i 751?
Typically, only three reasons can cause a denial of your application to remove the conditions on permanent residency:
- Late Applying and failing to provide evidence of extenuating circumstances.
- Not providing enough supporting documents to establish bona fide marriage (that you enter into it in good faith)
- USCIS suspects that your marriage is fraudulent based on other facts that the inspecting officers found in your application.
You can overcome any of these reasons for denial if you:
- Make sure that you submit Form I-751 at the right time (not too early, not too late)
- Provide sufficient documentation about your marriage legitimacy
- Respond correctly to any Requests for Evidence (RFEs) you may get from USCIS.
If the USCIS approves your petition to remove conditions, you will have a full 10-year green card.
Do I Need An Immigration Attorney?
Immigration laws are complex matter to be understood by persons coming from different countries with different judicial system. Herman Legal Group an immigration law firm has been providing legal services for more than 25 years.
We have successfully handled many complex cases and helped foreign citizens prepare all kinds of immigration forms and required documentation, obtain conditional permanent resident status, and later on remove conditions on your immigration status and obtain permanent residence and immigrant visa or marriage based green cards.
When you put trust in us, we build a strong attorney-client relationship to guide you through the marriage green card process s and help you handle different scenarios.
Our immigration attorneys can help you navigate the case and choose the best strategy for achieving the goal.
Schedule a personal consultation with Attorney Richard Herman by calling 1-216-696-6170 or by booking. Consultations can be conducted by zoom, skype, WhatsApp, facetime, or in-office.