What is "conditional permanent residence"?
Conditional permanent residence is a special type of permanent residence for certain spouses of US citizens and lawful permanent residents. If you’ve been married less than two years to a US citizen or lawful permanent resident at the time that you get lawful permanent residence, US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will grant you “conditional permanent residence.” One way to determine if you have conditional permanent residence is to look at the end-date on your “green card”. A conditional permanent resident gets a green card that is valid for two years instead of ten years.1
Your children may also have conditional permanent residence if your US citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse filed a family immigration petition for them.2
Note: If the abuser won’t file a joint petition with you and you don’t apply for a VAWA battered spouse waiver before your conditional permanent residence expires, you will lose your lawful permanent residence,3 and the government may place you and your children in removal proceedings. However, you can still file your battered spouse waiver or battered child waiver even after your conditional permanent residence has expired.
1 8 CFR § 216.5(e)(3)(i)
2 INA § 216(a)(1), (g)
3 INA § 216(c)(2)