• Sojourner Law

Why is my Green Card only valid for two years?

Updated: Mar 22

When you marry a United States Citizen or Legal Permanent Resident (aka, Green Card holder), it is an exciting day when USCIS grants you the green card that you worked so hard to get. However, after receiving the card, you probably noticed the card is only valid for two years, rather than ten. Why?


Since 1986, certain spouses of U.S. citizens have been admitted to the United States as lawful permanent residents on a conditional basis for a period of 2 years. In general, a conditional permanent resident (CPR) must jointly file with his or her petitioning spouse a Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence (Form I-751) with USCIS during the 90-day period immediately preceding the second anniversary of his or her admission as a CPR in order to remove the conditions. For USCIS to approve the petition to remove conditions, the CPR must establish that:

  • The marriage upon which the CPR admitted to the United States was valid;

  • The marriage has not been terminated; and

  • The marriage was not entered into for purposes of evading the immigration laws of the United States

There are several different variables that can arise to which you could not submit a joint petition with your spouse. Two of the most common examples are when you have divorced your spouse, or if your spouse abused you after having your green card granted. Separate blog posts will need to be written to cover these two scenarios.


If you are a Conditional Permanent Resident, please contact our office for assistance so we can work with you to remove conditions so you can obtain a 10-year green card.