What are the differences between a conditional green card and a permanent green card?
If I receive a conditional green card through the EB-5 program, how are my rights different than someone who has a permanent green card? I want to make sure that my children can receive a public education and we have freedom to travel.
Your children are entitled to public education and you and your family included in your I-526 petition (spouse and unmarried children under age 21) will be able to travel. The major difference is the conditional green card is valid for a period of two years and you have to file for removal of conditions to receive permanent green cards for you and your family members by filing an I-829 within 90 days before the two-year anniversary. If you travel outside the U.S. for more than one year, you will need to obtain reentry permits.
You have the right to public education and freedom to travel. The difference is that it is conditional. After two years, if the condition is not removed (required jobs have not been created), you will lose it and have to return to your home country.
You rights as a conditional green card holder are essentially the same as a permanent green card holder. Your children can receive public education and all of you have freedom to travel on your conditional green cards.
Your conditional green card will allow for employment and education, but you still have to apply to remove the conditions by proving the required employment creation occurred, otherwise you will lose permanent residency.
All people receive a conditional green card first. Then, in two years from the date of the conditional green card one must apply to remove the condition to receive a 10-years green card. Then, every 10 years the green card must be renewed. However, in five years from the issuance date of the conditional green card one can apply to become a U.S. Citizen. All rights and privileges of a 10-year green card are exactly the same for the conditional green card.
You have the same rights as a typical permanent resident with freedom to travel and other benefits that are available under the law, such as public education. The difference between being a full permanent resident and a conditional one is one essential difference - or responsibility. You will have to petition the USCIS or U.S. Immigration Service within 90 days of the expiration of your two-year residence period. This is required in order to show that the EB-5 investment you made was sustained and that the jobs were created as specified by the business plan. After you succeed in this second petition (called an I-829) and are no longer a conditional lawful permanent resident, you are entitled to a full 10 year green card. Thereafter, you may seek citizenship three years later, or you may seek to renew the card every 10 years.
There is no difference between a conditional permanent residence and one without the condition. You are accorded all the rights and benefit under both. The only requirement for conditional residents is that you have to file to remove the condition within two years of being granted it.
You have all the rights of permanent green card holder when you hold the conditional green card, including but not limited to public education for your children and you and your spouse have the ability to work. The only difference is that your conditional green card is a temporary one of a two- year duration rather than permanent. With the conditional green card, unless you remove the condition by filing the Removal of Condition application (I-829) before that two-year period and get that application approved, the green card status you have will expire and be terminated. This means you will not have any valid status to remain in the U.S.
A conditional green card is for two years whereas the permanent green card is for 10 years and renewable. When you receive the conditional green card you have to file an application to remove the conditions as early as 90 days before it expires and show that you have met the terms under which the conditional green card was issued. In the EB-5 context that means the investment is completed and required jobs have been created.
Conditional green cards are issued in two circumstances: marriage-based immigration where the marriage was less than two years old at the time of awarding residency, and EB-5. The material difference between a conditional green card and a permanent green card is that for the former, one must do a filing within a 90 day window of expiry of the card or his/her status generally is terminated. In the marriage context this is an I-751 and, of course, an I-829 in the EB-5 context. Absent abandonment or deportability issues, permanent green cards are much easier to renew. But that is about it. The rights of a lawful permanent resident are the same under the INA regardless of which card she or he possesses. Upon filing an I-829, a conditional resident status is extended indefinitely until the petition is adjudicated. USCIS evidences this extension for the purposes of travel and other matters on the face of the I-829 receipt notice. One may also obtain a stamp at a local USCIS if the receipt notice expires. With that evidence, one can travel abroad even though the physical green card has expired. The notice should also be sufficient to prove to state institutions such as a department of education or DMV that one remains in legal status in order to obtain benefits.
Conditional residency is not in any ways different than legal permanent residency other than just that: it is conditioned on approval of your final petition after compliance with EB-5 program requirements. Conditional residency will allow your children pursue public education and will be free to travel at will.
Having a conditional permanent residency is the same as having full or unconditional permanent residency. Your children will have the same rights or abilities in attending school. Before the two years of conditional residency is up, the EB-5 investor will file an I-829 petition for the family and the investor will show EB-5 compliance to remove the conditions of permanent residency.