ATTORNEY - Merita Rice
Other immigration cases
Renewing Permanent Green Cards and Removing Conditions from Conditional Green Cards
The immigration attorney handles other immigration cases such as renewal of 10 year green cards and removing conditions from 2 year green cards. Green cards can be conditional or permanent.
Conditional green cards are valid for 2 years. They are issued when the permanent resident status (green card) was issued before the 2nd anniversary of the marriage. Conditional green cards cannot be renewed. Instead, the immigration attorney assists conditional green card holders to remove the conditions from the green card. This action needs to be taken during the 90 days before the 2-year green card expires, otherwise the green card holder will lose the permanent resident status and becomes deportable (i.e. can be put in removal proceedings at any time). The immigration lawyer assists both clients in filing jointly to remove the conditions by proving that the couple entered into a bona fide marriage. If the marriage has ended up in separation or divorce, immigration attorney assists the conditional permanent resident file a waiver of the joint petition with the filing for the removal of the conditions. If the conditional green has expired, the immigration attorney may be able to assist client with a late filing, as long as the client was not already put in removal proceedings and the client has good cause for not filing on time.
Permanent green cards are valid for 10 years. If the permanent green card has expired or will expire within the next 6 months, the immigration lawyer can assist with renewing the green card. After 5 years of being permanent resident (or after 3 years if married to a U.S. Citizen), most people choose to file for naturalization so they can become American citizens. Some people try to file for naturalization when the 10 year green has expired. Different offices throughout United States have different rules whether this is allowed. During the Trump administration, it has been the policy of Houston USCIS office to not allow a permanent resident to file for citizenship if the green card has expired or will expire within 6 months. So it is important to either file for naturalization prior to the expiration of 10 year green card, or if the client is not eligible for naturalization, to file for renewal of the green card in a timely manner so clients will be able to travel outside of the United States if they have an emergency.