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Legal Information: Federal


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January 30, 2018

What is conditional permanent residence status? How do I know if I have it?

To understand the battered spouse or child waiver, it is necessary to understand what conditional permanent residence is. If you get legal permanent residence status (a green card) through marriage to a USC or LPR, and the marriage is less than two years old when you obtain your residence, then you will obtain “conditional permanent residence.” Also, If your children received conditional residence through a petition filed by your spouse, then they will obtain conditional permanent residence as well.* The reason why the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) gives conditional permanent residence when a marriage is less than two years old and then requires a joint petition or waiver to remove the condition later on is to prevent marriage fraud.**

One way to determine if you have conditional legal permanent residence may be to look at the expiration date of your green card. A conditional permanent resident will receive a green card that is valid for 2 years.***

* INA §§ 216(a)(1), 216(g)
** USCIS website – Immigration Marriage Fraud Amendments of 1986
*** USCIS website – Conditional Permanent Residence