I-751 Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence

KC Immigration Lawyers can help with your I 751 Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence, as well as other immigration matters. Call for an appointment.

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What Is an I-751 Form?

Conditional permanent residents receive non-renewable green cards valid for two years instead of the permanent green cards that are renewable and valid for ten years.

Form I-751 also known as a “Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence,” is for an individual married to a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident for less than two years at the time the non-renewable green card was issued. With this form, they can “remove conditions” and get a 10-year green card.

Form I-751 proves to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) that even though your marriage was recent when you filed for a green card, it is genuine and not just for immigration benefits.

Even if you are a conditional resident whose marriage has ended, you may still apply to remove the conditions. However, you must prove that your marriage was performed in good faith and was legal at the time.

This article will explore everything you should know about Form I-751.

I-751 Checklist

This is a general list of documents that you are required to submit, along with the form for removal of conditions to prove that your marriage was entered into in good faith. We recognize that only some of the below-listed items may apply to your case.

Consider consulting an immigration attorney to understand the unique requirements of your case and submit as many documents as instructed. Common requirements may include:

  • A copy of your permanent resident card or conditional green card. If your I-751 petition includes your children, include copies of their green cards as well.
  • Proof that your marriage was bona fide and not for immigration purposes. You may need to show: a marriage certificate, mortgage or lease documents, evidence of shared assets or liabilities, utility bills, joint tax returns, joint bank accounts, birth certificates of children from your marriage, voided checks showing the same address, family photos, and affidavits from your friends- to prove you had a bona fide marriage.
  • Justification for not filing jointly, if applicable. This evidence could be a death certificate, a finalized divorce decree, or proof that your spouse was cruel to you or your children.
  • If applicable, criminal convictions or charges since you became conditional residents.
  • If you’re filing abroad due to military or government service, include two passport-style photographs, your fingerprint cards (Form FD-258), and a copy of your orders. Also, remember to write “Government Orders” or “Active Military” on top of your I-751 form.

You can check specific I-751 instructions on the USCIS website for full details on supporting documents.

When Should You File I-751?

It is a good idea to file it before your current spouse green card expires. The timelines also may differ according to the circumstances and facts of each case. Let us take a look at a few of them:

If You and Your Spouse Are Still Married and Are Filing Jointly

In such cases, you and your spouse must submit a joint petition no earlier than 90 days before your conditional green card expires. 

If your conditional resident card expires before you submit an application to remove the conditions, you may risk losing your permanent resident status.

If You Are Filing Your Application Independently

Certain categories allow you to request the waiver of the joint filing requirement. Some cases where you can apply yourself include:

  • If your marriage ended due to divorce, annulment, or the death of your spouse
  • If your ex-spouse abused you or your children.
  • The termination of your status will cause you extreme hardship.

After the USCIS grants you conditional permanent resident status, you may file the application any time after your divorce or annulment proceedings have concluded.

If Your Conditional Permanent Resident Card Has Already Expired

There is no assurance that the USCIS will accept a late filing. However, it may make an exception and allow you to submit Form I-751 after your conditional green card expires.

You must write a letter explaining the delay, and the USCIS may approve your application if the delay was caused due to “extraordinary circumstances” beyond your control.

I-751 Application Process

The USCIS only accepts I-751 petitions by mail and cannot be filed in person. The USCIS website enlists the details of the addresses where you have to mail your completed applications.

Although the USCIS will receive your petition at these locations, it will be processed elsewhere. Any interview that is scheduled will be at a USCIS office near you.

They will also provide the date, time, and location of your biometric services appointment.

I-751 Interview

The USCIS may require you to attend an interview with one of their officers as the last step.

The I-751 interview will be scheduled at a local USCIS office and will likely last less than 30 minutes.

Make every effort to attend the interview at the scheduled time. If the interview is rescheduled, the I-751 processing period will be extended by several weeks.

The USCIS will mail you a 10-year green card and a notice if your application is approved.

I-751 Fee

After assembling the necessary paperwork, you must pay a filing fee of $595. In addition, there will be an $85 biometrics fee per person, including you and your children. You may submit a fee waiver request based on your household income or financial hardship.

This fee may be paid by money order, cashier’s check, or personal check. Also, you can use Form G-1450 to pay with a credit card.

I-751 Processing Time

Generally, most I-751 applications are refused or authorized between 14 and 24 months after filing.

The Form I-751 processing time may vary depending on the caseload, the USCIS office where you filed the application, and your ability to complete a petition package with solid proof of a marriage entered into in good faith.

How Can Immigration Lawyers Help?

Your I-751 petition must be well-prepared to prevent delays. It is often difficult for conditional permanent residents to determine what evidence they can provide in order to receive lawful permanent residency. Additionally, uncompleted applications may delay processing or prohibit conditional permanent residents from gaining lawful status.

A competent immigration attorney can assist you in understanding U.S. immigration laws, handling complex issues, and preparing various immigration forms and supporting documents throughout the immigration process.

You may learn from others’ experiences, but each case is unique and should be carefully examined before selecting what papers to offer.

Kansas City Immigration Lawyers can help you understand immigration laws and assist in delivering superior immigration services. Our law firm can meet with you in person or via the phone. Call us to schedule a free consultation today!