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If you’ve ever heard the term “conditional permanent resident,” there’s a chance you’ve wondered how it relates to “lawful permanent resident.” Immigration law is confusing, and sometimes uses two terms that sound similar but mean different things.

From our experienced team of New Orleans immigration attorneys at Pelton & Balducci, here’s a breakdown of what exactly this term means, and what it means for the future of your immigration case.

Understanding Conditional Permanent Residence

Just like lawful permanent residents, individuals granted conditional permanent residence are given a green card and permitted to live and work in the United States. However, there’s an important distinction.

A conditional permanent resident’s green card only lasts for 2 years.

This conditional status is typically granted in cases where an individual’s immigration status is tied to a marital relationship that is less than two years old at the time of adjudication. The intention behind this requirement is to ensure the legitimacy and authenticity of the marital relationship.

What to Do Next

For those who find themselves in a conditional permanent resident status, it’s important to be aware what comes next:

  1. Filing a Petition to Remove Conditions: Within the 90-day window before the green card expires, you must file a petition to “remove conditions” on your residence. This petition serves as a formal request to transition from conditional permanent residence to lawful permanent residence (a 10-year green card).
  2. Evidence of Authentic Marriage: Filing this petition requires evidence that your marital relationship is bona fide, or legitimate, and not just for the purpose of evading immigration laws. This evidence can include joint financial accounts, shared living arrangements, and documentation of joint activities.
  3. Failure to File: If the conditional resident fails to file the removal of conditions petition within the specified window, their conditional status will expire. This can lead to loss of legal status and potential deportation.
  4. Missed Deadline or Terminated Marriage: In cases where you missed the deadline or your marriage ends before the removal of conditions petition is filed, all is not lost. You still have options to preserve your eligibility for permanent residence. Seeking an immigration attorney is crucial to understand these options and take appropriate action.

Conditional permanent residence is a unique immigration status that requires vigilance and timely action. Navigating the process of transitioning from conditional to unconditional permanent residence can be complex, but with the right legal support, individuals can confidently address any challenges that arise. Whether you’re dealing with a missed deadline, a terminated marriage, or simply need guidance on maintaining your immigration status, Pelton & Balducci is here to provide the dedicated guidance you need for a successful immigration journey.

Contact Pelton & Balducci Today

At Pelton & Balducci, we believe that everyone should have the ability to build their American dream. Our team of experienced immigration attorneys is dedicated to guiding individuals through each step of the green card process, and helping people take the next steps to become lawful permanent residents. Contact us today to schedule a confidential consultation.

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