Can a Conditional Greencard Holder File an Immigrant Petition?

Beneficiary spouse of marriage based immigrant petition’s where the marriage was less than 2 years old at the time of the immigrant visa or status was approved are issued a 2 year conditional green card. In order for these immigrants to obtain their permanent green card, the immigrant has to either file a joint petition to remove the conditional permanent residence before the end of the 2 years or file a waiver.

What immigration petition and applications can a conditional permanent resident file? Can a conditional permanent resident file an immigrant petition for a qualifying relative? Other than the requirement to file a joint petition or a waiver, a conditional permanent resident does not affect any aspect of the immigrant’s immigration status. The conditional permanent resident may file an immigrant petition for any qualifying relatives such as family based second preference as any permanent residents. 8 CFR 216.1. 8 CFR 216.1 provides …” Unless otherwise specified, the rights, privileges, responsibilities, and duties which apply to all other lawful permanent residents apply equally to conditional permanent residents, including but not limited to the right to apply for naturalization (if otherwise eligible), the right to file petitions on behalf of qualifying relatives, the privilege of residing permanently in the United States as an immigrant in accordance with the immigration laws, such status not having changed;…” However there is one exception to a conditional permanent resident’s ability to petition, the conditional immigrant cannot petition for another spouse in the second preference within five years of first immigrating to the US as a conditional permanent resident unless the first marriage was terminated by death of the other spouse or the petitioner shows the USCIS that the earlier marriage which was the basis of the conditional green card was not a sham. This rule applies even after the immigrant’s condition has been removed.

In addition to filing immigrant petition, a conditional immigrant may also apply for naturalization three years from the date the immigrant received the conditional permanent residence. A conditional immigrant may apply for naturalization even if the I-751 joint petition is pending. However, the naturalization application cannot be approved before the joint petition is approved.

Please note that this article is not legal advice and is not intended as legal advice. The article is intended to provide only general, non-specific legal information. This article is not intended to cover all the issues related to the topic discussed. The specific facts that apply to your matter may make the outcome different than would be anticipated by you. This article does create any attorney client relationship between you and the Law Offices of Kenneth U. Reyes, APLC. This article is not a solicitation.

Attorney Kenneth Reyes is a graduate of Southwestern University School of Law in Los Angeles. He was President of the Philippine American Bar Association. He is a member of the American Immigration Lawyer’s Association (AILA) and the Los Angeles County Bar Association, Immigration and Family Law Sections. You may contact Atty. Reyes at (213) 388-1611 or via e-mail at LAW OFFICES OF KENNETH REYES, APLC. is located at 3699 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 747, Los Angeles, CA.


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