USCIS Wrongly Issues 10 YR Green Card Instead of 2 YR Conditional Green Card

Update August 25, 2021

USCIS continues to issue incorrect green cards to marriage-based applicants. A client just received a wrong card showing 10 years validity after completing the interview at the Baltimore Field Office. Not sure why the problem is not addressed by now at various field offices.

Maybe officers are too used to approving employment-based green cards as they are dealing with a record amount of filings since October 2020. ?‍♂️

When receiving your Green Card, please check it carefully.

Original Post May 18, 2021

In the recent 2 months, we have noticed repeat errors on marriage-based green cards where the applicant received a full 10-yr green card instead of the 2-year conditional green card. Final interviews took place at different field offices. So the errors are not limited to one locale.

Even when USCIS makes mistakes in your favor, you can’t assume that you are in the clear, and in this case, decide to just keep the card. USCIS may expect you to inform them about the error even when it’s their fault. And if you do not, you may face negative consequences in the future.

In general, you will receive a conditional green card (valid for 2 years) if it was based on a marriage that was less than 2 years old at the time of your green card approval. If the marriage was more than 2 years old, you will receive a permanent green card (valid for 10 years). With a conditional green card, you will need to file a petition to remove conditions prior to the 2-year expiration via Form I-751, and after the I-751 petition is approved, you will then receive a full 10-year green card. The idea behind issuing a conditional green card is that USCIS wants to take another look at your marriage, to make sure that it is bona fide before approving the permanent green card.

If you receive a 10 yr green card when you are supposed to receive a 2 yr green card, you could only fix the error by filing form I-90 and check the box as indicated below. You would have to mail the wrong card to USCIS and wait months even a year or longer for the correct green card to be issued.

If you decide not to bring it up and just keep the card, this issue may still come up in the future. If an officer discovers the mistake at the time of your naturalization, you may be asked to file I-751 as a late filing. If you are no longer married, it may prove difficult to obtain the necessary supporting documents. And if your I-751 is denied, you will lose your green card and be put in immigration proceedings.

In summary, USCIS makes mistakes from time to time. Please look at your green card closely when you receive it. If you receive a permanent green card and believe it is issued incorrectly, you should inform USCIS by filing I-90. This helps eliminate any uncertainties in the future.