In the event that a US citizen and a non-US citizen decide to marry and reside in the US, the non-US citizen will need a Green Card. However, the initial Green Card that the US government gives a non-US citizen spouse is not a “permanent” permanent resident card, at least not at first.
Conditional permanent residence is a status that new spouses and some entrepreneurs hold. According to US Citizenship and Immigration Services, a conditional permanent resident has a Green Card that is legal for 2 years.
When can I get a permanent Green Card?
You can rescind the conditions on your Green Card after the initial two-year period. In order to do this, you must petition the US government during the 90-day period before your conditional Green Card hits its expiration. If the US government agrees to rescind the conditions, you may then become a permanent resident in full.
In order to rescind conditions on a marriage-based Green Card, you must file Form I-751. In order to rescind conditions on an entrepreneurial-based Green Card, you must file Form I-829.
Is it possible to remove conditions on my Green Card if I divorce?
In the event that you are in the United States on a marriage-based Green Card, it is possible for you to file to rescind the conditions on your permanent residency if you divorce your US citizen spouse. In order for the government to consider your petition, you must file Form I-751 individually, rather than in tandem with your spouse as you would if you were still married.
Particularly if you separate from your US citizen spouse due to infidelity or divorce, it is possible for the government to allow you permanent residency without continuing your marriage.