CR-6 Conditional Green Card

CR-6 Conditional Green Card

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Last updated: April 4, 2024.

What does CR-6 mean on a green card?

  • CR-6” stands for “Conditional Resident 6” immigration category
  • “CR-6” category includes spouses of U.S. citizens who obtained permanent residency in the US through Adjustment of Status process
  • Conditional residents are immigrants who have obtained permanent residency through marriage to a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • Such immigrants are called “conditional” because their permanent resident status is valid for 2 years only and is subject to certain conditions
  • When a foreign national obtains a green card through marriage to a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and the marriage is less than 2 years old at the time of receiving the green card, the individual is granted conditional green card
  • The conditions are in place to ensure that the marriage is legitimate and not solely entered into for immigration purposes
  • Conditional status gives the U.S. government an opportunity to assess the authenticity of the marriage
  • Within the 90-day period before the expiration of the conditional green card, the couple must jointly file Form I-751 petition to remove the conditions on residence and obtain a 10-year green card
  • This process involves providing new evidence of the continued bona fide nature of their marital relationship

What is the difference between CR-1 and CR-6?

Similarities and differences between CR-1 and CR-6 green cards include:

Similarities 

Differences
CR-1

CR-6

  • CR-1 and CR-6 green cards are issued to spouses of US citizens
  • CR-1 and CR-6 green cards are considered “conditional”
  • CR-1 and CR-6 green cards are valid for 2 years only
  • CR-1 and CR-6 green card holders must file Form I-751 to remove conditions
  • Issued to spouses who obtained an immigrant visa at U.S. Embassy or Consulate (outside the U.S.)
  • Issued to spouses who obtained permanent residency through Adjustment of Status (in the U.S.)

Can I travel with a CR-6 green card?

Yes, you can travel outside the U.S. with a CR-6 green card.

CR-6 conditional green card holders have the same rights as other permanent residents.

Keep in mind that long trips outside the U.S. might lead to abandonment of permanent residency.

You will need to have the original CR-6 green card when you return to the U.S.

How long is the CR-6 green card valid for?

CR-6 green card is valid for 2 years.

If you hold a CR-6 green card, Form I-751 must be filed within 90 days before the conditional green card’s expiration date.

IMPORTANT: Do NOT file Form I-90 to renew your CR-6 green card. Form I-90 is used to renew 10-year green cards only.

CR-6 category green card validity

CR-6 category green card is valid for 2 years.

CR-6 green card renewal

  • Renewing a conditional CR-6 green card involves filing a petition to remove the conditions on residence (Form I-751) 
  • Conditional CR-6 green cards are issued to spouses of U.S. citizens or permanent residents based on a marriage that is less than two years old at the time of obtaining the green card

CR-6 green card renewal involves the following steps:

  • Timing:
    • File Form I-751 during the 90-day period before the conditional green card expires
    • If filing jointly with your spouse, Form I-751 is signed by you and your spouse
  • Form I-751: 
    • Complete Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence
    • You can find the most recent edition of the form on the USCIS website
  • Supporting Documents: 
    • Include supporting documents:
      • Copy of the conditional CR-6 green card (front and back)
      • Proof of the bona fide nature of your marriage. This may include:
        • Joint bank account statements
        • Joint utility bills
        • Joint lease agreement(s)
        • Jointly filed tax returns
        • Joint health insurance
        • Joint life insurance
        • Proof of joint assets
        • Personal photographs
        • Notarized witness affidavits
        • Birth certificates of children born in the marriage
        • Proof of communication (phone calls, text messages, etc.)
  • Filing Fee: 
    • Include the appropriate filing fee with the petition
    • Check the USCIS website for the current Form I-751 government fee
  • Submission
    • Mail the completed Form I-751, supporting documents, and the filing fee to the correct USCIS address (“Where to File”)
  • Receipt Notice: 
    • Once USCIS registers your petition, they will send you a receipt notice by mail
    • This notice serves as proof that your conditional status has been extended for 18-24 months
  • Biometrics Appointment: 
    • After filing, USCIS may schedule a biometrics appointment for the conditional green card holder
    • Sometimes USCIS can reuse the previously collected biometrics data
  • Decision: 
    • USCIS will review your petition and notify you of their decision
    • If approved, you will receive a 10-year green card
    • If denied, you may be placed in removal proceedings

Received 10-year green card instead of 2-year green card

  • If you received a 10-year green card, it means that the marriage was more than two years old at the time of approval
  • Conditional green cards are issued to immigrants who obtained permanent resident status through marriage
  • 2-year conditional green cards are issued to immigrants who have been married to their sponsors for less than 2 years at the time of approval

Conditional green card expired, can I still work?

  • If your conditional green card has expired and you received Form I-751 notice, your conditional green card will be extended for 18-24 months
  • Form I-751 receipt notice serves as proof of your immigration status and employment authorization
  • If your conditional green card has expired and you did not timely filed Form I-751, you will have difficulties with proving your employment authorization

Conditional green card to citizenship

  • Obtaining U.S. citizenship through a conditional green card involves a two-step process
  • Conditional green card is issued to immigrants who have obtained lawful permanent resident (LPR) status through marriage to a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, but the marriage is less than 2 years old at the time of approval

Here’s an overview of the process:

Step 1. Petition to Remove Conditions:

  • During the 90-day period before the conditional green card expires, you must file Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence
  • This petition is intended to demonstrate that your marriage is still bona fide (was entered into in good faith)
  • The I-751 petition is filed jointly by you and your spouse
  • However, there are exceptions if the marriage ended in divorce or if you were subjected to abuse or extreme hardship. In such cases, you may be eligible to file the petition on your own (without your spouse). Learn more: Form I-751 Waiver of Joint Filing Requirement
  • You should include evidence that your marriage is genuine and ongoing, such as joint financial documents, utility bills, lease agreements, personal photographs, and affidavits from friends or family who can attest to the legitimacy of your marriage
  • USCIS will review your petition and may request additional evidence (RFE) or schedule an interview
  • If your petition is approved, you will receive a 10-year permanent resident card

Step 2. Applying for U.S. Citizenship:

  • Once you have held permanent resident status for at least 2 years and 9 months (if married to a U.S. citizen), you can become eligible to apply for U.S. citizenship
  • If you have held permanent residency for at least 4 years and 9 months (if married to a permanent resident), you might become eligible to apply for US citizenship
  • Make sure you meet all eligibility requirements, including continuous residence, physical presence, and good moral character
  • File Form N-400, Application for Naturalization
  • Attend a biometrics appointment. In some cases, USCIS can reuse the previously collected biometric information
  • Attend an interview and take the U.S. citizenship test, which includes an English language and civics test
  • If your application is approved, you will receive a notice to attend a naturalization ceremony where you will take the Oath of Allegiance, completing the process of becoming a naturalized U.S. citizen

CR-1 green card renewal

CR-1 green card renewal includes the following steps:

    • File Form I-751: 
      • Complete and submit Form I-751 jointly with your spouse
      • Use the most recent edition of Form I-751 available on the USCIS website
      • Both spouses must sign and date the form
    • Gather Supporting Documents: 
      • Include as many documents as available as evidence of the bona fide marriage
      • Examples of acceptable documents are available here
    • Pay the Filing Fee: 
      • Pay Form I-751 filing fee when submitting the petition
      • Check the most current fee amount on the USCIS website
      • Due to time-sensitive nature of Form I-751 filing, pay the filing fee with a money order or cashier’s check 
  • Biometrics Appointment: 
  • After submitting the petition, USCIS may schedule a biometrics appointment for the conditional green card holder to provide fingerprints, photograph and signature
  • Interview (if scheduled): 
    • In some cases, USCIS may schedule an interview at a local USCIS field office
    • Be prepared to answer questions about your relationship and provide additional evidence of marriage

Conditional green card vs permanent green card

Differences between conditional green card and permanent resident card include:

Conditional green card

Permanent green card

  • Conditional green card is valid for 2 years
  • Conditional green cards are issued to spouses of U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents if the marriage was less than 2 years old at the time of approval
  • Form I-751 must be filed to remove conditions and obtain a 10-year green card
  • Form I-751 must be filed jointly with their spouse within the 90 days before the card expires
  • Permanent green card is valid for 10 years
  • Permanent green cards are issued to spouses of US citizens or lawful permanent residents if the marriage was over 2 years old at the time of approval
  • Form I-90 must be filed to renew a 10-year green card
  • Form I-90 does not require a joint filing with a spouse
  • Form I-90 can be filed within 180 days before the expiration date of a 10-year green card

Keep in mind that a conditional resident enjoys the same rights as a permanent resident such as:

  • Authorization to permanently reside in the U.S.
  • Employment authorization
  • U.S. citizenship application
  • Authorization to travel outside the U.S. for short periods of time

Learn More:

Conditional Resident Status

Form I-751 – How to Remove Conditions on Your Green Card