A conditional permanent resident, whether by marriage or employment, must file a petition to remove the conditions on his/her permanent resident status within the 90-day window preceding the second anniversary of his/her receipt of conditional resident status. A marriage-based applicant must file this petition on Form I-751, Petition to Remove the Conditions of Residence, while an employment-based applicant must file this petition on Form I-829, Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions (each known as a “Conditions Removal Form”).
After filing a Conditions Removal Form, the applicant will receive a Form I-797C Notice of Action (receipt notice) that automatically extends the applicant’s conditional permanent resident status for one year from the green card expiration date. For dependents, the receipt notice extends status for one year from the receipt date. During this one-year period, the applicant may lawfully travel using his/her expired Form I-551, Permanent Resident Card, and Form I-797C.
If the adjudication of the Conditions Removal Form extends beyond one year, the applicant is entitled to extend his/her status and receive documentation of such extension. To do so, the applicant must make an appointment at his/her local United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) office. To locate the closest USCIS office and to make an appointment, visit the InfoPass website. The applicant should bring the following to the appointment:
- INFOPASS appointment sheet;
- Original Form I-551;
- Form I-797C.
The USCIS officer will then collect the Form I-551 and issue either:
- A temporary I-551 stamp with a 12-month expiration date in the conditional resident’s unexpired, foreign passport (if the expiration date of the passport is one year or more in the future); or
- If the conditional resident is not in possession of an unexpired foreign passport, a Form I-94 (arrival portion) containing a temporary I-551 stamp with a 12-month expiration date and a photograph of the conditional resident.
In the case of a pending Form I-829, USCIS has stated that it may require an applicant to obtain an unexpired passport prior to issuing a temporary I-551 stamp.
If USCIS denies an applicant’s Form I-829, he/she is also entitled to receive an extension of his/her conditional permanent resident status until a final order of removal is issued. An order of removal is final if the decision is not appealed or, if appealed, upon dismissal by the Board of Immigration Appeals.