Before you file your I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence, here are 5 important steps to considered.
- What is a Conditional Permanent Resident?
- What happens if I separate from my spouse before removing the conditions?
- What type of evidence is needed to Remove the Conditions on Residence?
- What happens if the Filing deadline is missed?
- What if USCIS denies the I-751?
What is a Conditional Permanent Resident?
A foreign national spouse will be given a conditional residence status if the marriage that conferred the benefit was less than 2 years old on the day the foreign national spouse was given permanent residence. The “conditional” status is for a period of two-years, the foreign national must file a joint petition with their U.S. citizen spouse to document the continuing validity of the marriage. The joint petition must be filed using form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence within the ninety (90 days) period before the expiration date of the Conditional Green Card.
What happens if I separate from my spouse before removing the conditions?
The U.S Congress is aware that marriages sometimes do not work out for varying reason, for example if the foreign national has been battered or abuse by their U.S. Citizen spouse. In this or other cases the foreign national can apply to waive the joint filing requirement. A foreign national can apply for a waiver if: (1) U.S. Citizen spouse died, (2) If the foreign national can prove that the marriage was entered into in good faith but was terminated through divorce or annulment, (3) The foreign national was battered or was subjected to extreme cruelty by a parent or spouse (4) The termination of my statues and removal from the U.S would result in extreme hardship. When applying for a waiver, the burden of proof and the supporting documents must demonstrate that you merit a waiver.
What type of evidence is needed to Remove the Conditions on Residence?
The aim of the U.S Government is to ensure that short term marriages were not entered into to commit immigration fraud. Essentially, the evidence required to remove the conditions on your green card is the same types of documentation or evidence that was required at the I-485 green card interview. However, at the time of your removal of conditions, several years would have passed since your first green card interview. Therefore, you will need to provide evidence from the beginning of your marriage up to the time of removing your conditions. In other words, you need to documentarily show your life on paper since you got married. These evidences include but certainly not limited, birth certificates of child/ren born to the marriage, jointly filed tax returns, mortgages, lease agreements, banks statements, insurance policies, medical insurance, credit cards, loans, retirement contributions, special events photos and proof of gift exchanged between the couple.
What happens if the I-751 filing deadline is missed?
A failure to file your I-751 petition on time will and can result in the termination of your conditional resident status. If the deadline is missed for “good cause”, USCIS may waive the untimely filed petition, for example, in cases of hospitalization, military services, death of a family members or other emergencies. USCIS is not obligated to accept these good cause excuses, it is in your best interest to avoid these risks and the possibility of being placed in removal proceedings.
What happens if USCIS denies the I-751 Petition
First, do not lose hope! USCIS often make mistakes by applying the law incorrectly or they may have overlooked key evidence in your case. There are ways to challenge your denial moving forward, you can reopen the case, ask the Judge to review your I-751 petition, seek other relief in Immigration court that is applicable to your situation.
Due to the complexities that can arise with I-751’s it is always best to hire an Attorney. If you are ready to file your Removal of Conditions, don’t go it alone, let us help you. Keeping families together one family at a time!