After waiting months or even years for a 2-year marriage-based conditional green card, many applicants will breathe a sigh of relief. They think the battle’s over, and they can finally sit back, relax, and enjoy their legal residency in the United States.

But news flash! Receiving a green card isn’t the end of it. It’s important that marriage-based conditional green card holders start preparing for the next step.

Crucial Things to Do After Receiving a 2-Year Conditional Residence Green Card

Right after receiving a 2-year conditional residence green card, it’s advisable to do these two things:

Track the Expiration Date

The first is checking the expiration date of the green card. A marriage-based conditional green card is valid for 2 years but a holder already needs to be preparing to file the next case well before the expiry date.

The immigration service only allows a 90-day filing window. That means that 90 days prior to the expiration date of the green card, one should already be ready to file the 1-751 Petition to Remove Conditions of Residence.

Prepare All Your Documents

So how can someone prepare to file the next case? That’s by getting ready with all the required documents beforehand.

Immigration wants to see two years of evidence from the green card holder and their spouse. That includes any mortgage, bank accounts, taxes, utility bills, and insurance documents with both spouses' names on them. Photos of travels together can also be included.

Because the immigration service is asking for two full years of documentation, a conditional green card holder and their spouse should start opening these accounts together and getting these joint documents as soon as possible.

The Benefit of Early Preparation

Being proactive and preparing for the next immigration case well in advance will reap an important benefit when application day comes. When the spouses have gathered their documents, kept everything, and presented them to immigration, they increase their chances of getting approved without another interview.

As soon as the 2-year conditional green card is received, open up a file at home, start opening joint accounts, and gather all the documents. That way, after one year and nine months and it’s time to file a petition, everything is ready to go.