3 min read

February 17, 2021

What Does Conditional Permanent Resident Mean?

Explaining the visa status of anyone under conditional permanent residency

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There’s more than one way to live in the United States for an extended period of time. As you would expect, there are various types of visas that allow international citizens to study, work, or even start a business while living in the United States. Being a Conditional Permanent Resident is one of them.

What is a Conditional Permanent Resident?

This status is issued to individuals who have entered the United States via one of two ways. The first is via marriage to a United States’ citizen or permanent resident.

The additional way that a person could be granted Conditional Permanent Residency is if they were admitted into the United States on a EB-5 visa. The EB-5 visa is granted to individuals who are investing in the United States with the intention of creating a minimum of at least 10 jobs as a result of that financial investment.

Regardless of the type of Conditional Permanent Resident (CR-1) designation that has been granted to an applicant, they will all receive a short-term green card that is valid for two years

For individuals who have been issued a CR-1 designation based on marriage, the United States government wants to make sure that their marriage is authentic and has established a two year baseline to review if the marriage is legitimate. What is the Difference Between a Conditional vs. Permanent Resident?

Put simply, an individual who is considered a Conditional Permanent Resident will have to make a request to remove the conditions on their status in the United States. This request must be submitted 90 days prior to the end of their current visas.  Conditional Permanent Residents are provided a Green Card that is valid for two years.

Permanent Residents are exactly what you think. These individuals have been granted permanent residency in the United States and issued a Green Card that provides proof of status. These individuals are issued a green card that expires within 10 years and has to go through a renewal process if the permanent resident wishes to stay beyond that period of time.

Removal of Conditions

In order to remove the conditions on a Conditional Permanent Resident visa a form I-751 must be filed 90 days before your temporary Green Card Expires. If you’re unsure when to file your form, you can use the following filing date calculator to determine when you must turn these forms in.

There are a few more steps in the process that one must be aware of.

  • You will be sent an I-797 form which is a “Notice of Action” this form will confirm that you’ve made a request to USCIS, what that request is and your case number.
  • USCIS may request that you schedule a Biometrics Appointment. If this happens, it’s a straightforward process to verify your identity.
  • Applicants may have to attend an in-person interview especially if they are requesting to remove conditions on marriage based Green Cards.

The time frame for the process to remove these conditions and be issued an updated Green Card varies and is still being impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak at this moment in time. In the past it has taken up to 18 months to complete the process to remove conditions.

Want to Become a US Citizen?

If you’re interested in pursuing United States citizenship, Green Card holders may begin pursuing this process after 5 years of residency in the United States.

This process requires filling out a form N-400 (Application for Naturalization). Applicants may submit this form online or via mail. Prior to filling out this form, it’s important to review the Guide to Naturalization (Form M-476) Please note, processing times may range between 8-12 on average.

As always, seek out legal guidance and representation to support you during this process as rules and requirements may change.


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Michelle Jackson
Michelle Jackson
With 10+ years of experience working in the immigration and personal finance space, Michelle has written for leading publications like Business Insider and Vice.

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