I-751 Petition to Remove Conditions – Learn How to Apply

What is the Petition to Remove the Conditions of your Green Card?

If you obtained a Green Card (permanent residence) through marriage to a US Citizen, you most likely received a Conditional Permanent Resident card that is valid for two (2) years.

When this two-year conditional period ends, the permanent residence status automatically expires and the applicant may be subject to deportation and removal.

To avoid this, 90 days or less before the conditional residence expires, the foreign national spouse applicant is required file Form I-751. This is the petition to remove the conditions of your green card.

Once approved, the conditional status will be removed and the applicant will receive their new Permanent Resident card that is valid for 10 years.

When do I file Form I-751 Petition to Remove the Conditions of your Green Card?

Form I-751 petition to remove the conditions of your green card must be filed within 90 days before your conditional green card expires. Filing before the 90 day window will result in USCIS returning your application.

How do I know if I am eligible to File Form I751 Petition to Remove the Conditions of my Green Card?

If you are still married, file Form I-751 jointly with your U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse through whom you obtained your conditional permanent status.

If you have dependent children on a K-2 visa who obtained their conditional permanent status when you did and they entered the United States within 90-days of your arrival, then you can include their names and A-numbers in Part 5 of your petition form.

If the children obtained their conditional status 90 days after you obtained or adjusted your status or if the conditional permanent parent dies, they have to file Form I751 separately in order to remove their conditional status.

In case you, the conditional permanent resident, do not file jointly, you may apply for a waiver if:

You can show that you entered the marriage with honesty and good intentions, but your spouse subsequently died;

You can show that you entered the marriage in good faith, but the marriage ended because of divorce or annulment;

You can show that you entered the marriage in good faith and have remained married, but have been battered or subjected to extreme cruelty by your U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse; or

The termination of your status and removal would result in extreme hardship.

In cases when you are asking for a waiver, proof to support your request will be very important.

Example, a copy of your divorce decree or police, court or medical proof that you were abused or a death certificate showing that you spouse died.

What Should You Include in your I-751 Petition to Remove the Conditions of your Green Card?

A complete application package is important to ensure approval of your petition form I751 by the USCIS.

The following should be included in your package to remove the conditions of your green card:

A completed and signed Form I751

A copy, front and back, of your Conditional Green Card

Two passport-style photos for you and any children applying with you.

Evidence showing that the marriage is a bonafide one and that it was entered in honesty and in “good faith”.

This can include but is not limited to the following:

birth certificates of children born to the marriage,

lease or mortgage contracts showing joint occupancy,

financial records showing joint ownership of assets,

sworn statements from at least two people who have known both of you since your conditional residence was granted and have personal knowledge of your marriage and relationship.

The USCIS Filing Fee.

After Filing to Remove the Conditions of your Green Card:

Once the application is received by the USCIS, permanent residence is extended for 1-year intervals until the request to remove conditions is approved or denied.

I-751 Instructions:

My Green Card is about to expire, how can I renew it?

Whether or not you can “renew” your Green Card depends on the type of Green Card you have.  Take a look at your Green Card.  At the bottom you will see “Card Expires” and “Residence Since”.  If you have a 10-year Green Card, then you can renew it, but if you have a Green Card that is only valid for 2 years (Conditional Green Card), you cannot renew it.  You will need to apply for the permanent 10-year Green Card to remove the conditions.

The reason that you have a Conditional Green Card is that  you were married for less than two (2) years when you were interviewed. To remove the conditions you will need to file form I-751 with USCIS at least 3 months before  your Conditional Green Card expires.  Filing as early as possible ensures that your Green Card will remain valid until you get proof of the extension (the USCIS receipt Notice).  It sometimes takes USCIS about 2-3 months to issue the receipt notice.  So, if you file too late you can find yourself unable to continue to work/travel waiting for the proof of extension.

Ideally you should file the I-751 jointly with your sponsoring spouse/parent.  This means that both you and your spouse will sign the I-751 form, attesting to the validity of your marriage. Filing jointly shows USCIS that you are still in a bona fide marriage. Hopefully, this will also ensure that you have a lot of joint-life documents (joint accounts, pictures, etc.) to prove the validity of your marriage.

But even if you cannot file jointly due to divorce, separation, or death, you can still request a waiver of the joint-filing requirement.  Getting an affidavit from your sponsoring spouse attesting to the validity of your marriage is extremely helpful when requesting a waiver.  Remember, even if you file for a waiver, you still have to prove the validity of your marriage for however long it lasted.  You should consider hiring an attorney who can help you prepare your case, especially if you do not have a lot of joint-life documents proving your marriage.

Can I still file the I-751 if my Green Card already expired?

Yes, you can but you must file as soon as you realize. Make sure to provide a signed letter explaining why you filed late and requesting that USCIS accept your late filing.  USCIS wants to make sure that you have a reasonable excuse for not filing.  If you forgot to file due to family/work issues – for example, birth of a baby or getting a new job, moving, or relocating, death in the family – then this can be used to explain the delay in filing.  Make sure you have proof of what caused the delay.  Even if the delay was due to you merely forgetting, you should request that USCIS forgive your late filing.

If you fail to file the I-751 USCIS may place you in removal/deportation proceedings.  This usually happens about 2 – 6 months after your Green Card expires.  Also, once your Conditional Green Card expires you will no longer be able to use your Green Card for work/travel.  So, you need to be very vigilant and timely file your I-751.

I-751 Timeline:

What happens after submitting the I-751?

Unfortunately, due to the pandemic it is almost impossible to provide an accurate timeline.  Remember, all the timeframes listed below are ESTIMATES.  But hopefully in the near future things will stabilize and there will be a more predictable timeline.

Generally speaking you can expect:

  • 1 – 30 days after filing and if you file form G-1145 (which requests that USCIS alert you when your petition is accepted/received) USCIS sends a text confirming receipt of your case. The text will also provide you with the actual Receipt Number for the I-751 filing.
  • 1 – 3 Months after filing – USCIS Mails the I-797 Receipt Notice via USPS mail. Since USCIS uses regular mail to send this receipt, you need to make sure that your name is on the mailbox and/or that the post office is aware that you reside at this address to ensure proper delivery.  Make sure to read the notice carefully to ensure that you have the “official notice”. The “official notice” is your proof that the Green Card has been extended for 18 months, so make sure that you do not lose it.  The reason to make sure the receipt notice is not lost is that it close to impossible to get USCIS to schedule an INFO PASS appointment to have the extension stamped in your passport.

Another notice that USCIS may send is the USCIS Account Access Notice.  If USCIS sends this notice, carefully follow the instructions to set up your online account.  Even if USCIS does not send the Account Access Notice, you can set it up yourself once you have the receipt notice.  Go to: https://myaccount.uscis.gov/

With the online account you can:

  1. Check the status of your case.
  2. Sign up to receive email notifications and text messages from USCIS every time they take any action on your case.
  3. Manage your account preferences and contact information.

Although you can always check your case on the USCIS website, having a USCIS online account is a great way to keep track of your case and give you peace of mind during the long processing.

2 Months or More after filing Biometrics Notice

Previously, USCIS would always issue the Biometrics Notice within the first two months after filing the case.  Due to the pandemic USCIS has been trying to limit the need for clients to appear in person at the USCIS Application Support Center.  This means that you may not get a Biometrics Appointment until the very end of the processing.  You can expect the following:

  1. USCIS will MAIL a Biometrics Appointment Notice and Applicant’s Information Worksheet (AIW) OR
  2. USCIS will send a notice stating that “USCIS is able to reuse your previously captured fingerprints and other biometrics”. This means that you will not have to appear for Biometrics.

What can I expect during the Biometrics Appointment?  

Before attending the Biometrics Appointment, make sure that you have completed the Applicant’s Information Worksheet (AIW).  On the date of the appointment make sure you have the appointment notice, the completed AIW and proper photo identification – passport, U.S. driver’s license, national ID, military ID, or stat-issued photo ID.  If you do not have proper identification you will not be able to be undergo the Biometrics.

You can expect the following:

  1. Your fingerprints will be taken.
  2. Have your picture taken.
  3. USCIS officer will return your appointment notice with stamp noting your attendance.

How can I reschedule my Biometrics Appointment?

Although it is always best to attend the scheduled appointment, sometimes that is not possible.  If you find that you cannot attend the appointment for whatever reason, you will need to:

  1. Check the box requesting that the appointment be rescheduled (towards the bottom of the notice). If possible, include proof to support why you cannot attend.
  2. Mail the notice to the address listed on the notice with tracking. Keep a copy of this request for your records.
  3. USCIS will send another appointment notice.  Unfortunately, there is no way to determine how long it will take USCIS to reschedule your appointment.  But if you have a USCIS online Account you will be alerted when USCIS has rescheduled the appointment.
  4. At any time after filing – USCIS may issue a Request for Evidence (RFE).

Receiving an RFE does not mean that there are any problems with your case.  USCIS sends an RFE on about 80 – 90% of the I-751 cases filed. Even though there is no way to predict if an RFE will be issued on your particular case; if you request a waiver, it is more likely than not that USCIS will issue an RFE.  Also, providing a lot of supporting documentation is one way to lower the chances of getting an RFE.

USCIS provides you with 87 days to file your response to the RFE.  Take your time in preparing your response as it can mean the difference between your petition being approved or having a second interview.  To ensure that USCIS receives your reply you should send it overnight with FedEx/UPS.  The very latest you should file your reply is one week before the deadline.  If you wait any longer there is a risk that it might not be delivered in time.  Especially if it there is inclement weather conditions that negatively affect the mail service.

What should I do if receive a request for more evidence (RFE)?

First, you should diary the due date and the mailing date (no less than one week before the due date.  Then carefully read the USCIS Notice.

The first page will provide the due date and legal requirements and consequences.  USCIS expects you to:

  1. Reply to the RFE before the due date. If you fail to reply USCIS can deny your case.
  2. Submit all the requested evidence at the same time. If you do not, USCIS will consider your partial response as a request that USCIS render a decision on your case.
  3. Submit English translations for all documents not in English.

The second page will detail all the evidence that you provided with the initial filing. Then it will state that the evidence was not sufficient to establish a bona fide marriage.  In the majority of cases the reason is that you failed to prove that “you and your spouse share responsibility for most of the assets and liabilities of the marriage”.  Finally, it will request that you provide further evidence “to establish a bona fide marriage”.   You should not send copies of the same documents you sent with the filing.  Only send new documents – for example, updated bank statements received after filing the petition.

The list of documents that USCIS usually requests are as follows:

  1. Children as a result of your marriage (birth certificate, adoption decrees, court guardianship records for stepchildren and school/medical records listing the stepparent as a contact or guardian).
  2. Evidence that you have resided together and shared responsibility for a common residence (leases in both name showing joint occupancy, deeds/mortgages in both names showing joint ownership and copies of driver’s licenses/identity cards showing same address).
  3. Evidence of combined financial resources or joint ownership of assets and responsibilities for liabilities such as:
  4. Checking, savings or investment account statements showing all the transaction pages. If you do not have joint financial resources, you should provide an explanation why.  For example, some people do this for tax purposes. Also, you should provide copies of your separate bank statements showing the payments for household bills.  You should also explain how you pay your household bills.  For example, each of you pay 50%, or one spouse pays the utilities while another pays the rent, etc. Whatever is your method make sure that you clearly explain it and send documents to support it.
  5. Joint Federal Tax Returns, which must include all relevant schedules and attachments such as W2/1099 etc. Since USCIS requires proof that the returns were actually filed with the IRS, the best option is to obtain the IRS Return and Wage and Income Transcripts. You can get them at:  https://www.irs.gov/individuals/get-transcript
  • Joint loans or credit card statements.
  1. Joint Property, Life or Health Insurance Documents.
  2. Any other type of joint insurance – auto, rental, etc.
  3. Joint utility bills, including but not limited to power, water, sewage, cable/satellite, streaming service, family plan cell phones etc.
  4. Evidence you made estate, health, and financial planning arrangements such as a will, trust, or durable power of attorney for health/property.
  5. Affidavits from third parties who have knowledge of the bona fides of your marital relationship. The affidavits must show the affiant’s full name, address and date and place of birth and include detailed information about how the affiant acquired first-hand knowledge of your marital relationship.  You should use close family or friends with whom you spend a lot of time. This way you can provide proof, such as pictures, of spending time with them.  Remember, the people who provide the affidavits may be required to testify regarding the affidavit’s content.
  6. Evidence regarding U.S. Military:
  7. Form DD-1172 – application for Uniformed Services Identification Card DEERS Enrollment naming dependents.
  8. Dependent’s Identification and Privilege Cards.
  • Form DD-1278 – Certificate of Overseas Assignment to support Application to File Petition for Naturalization
  1. Copy of Permanent Change of Station orders issued to service member for permanent tour of duty overseas that specifically name the spouse/child.
  2. Designation of spouse/child as beneficiary on the Servicemember’s Group Life Insurance Policy (SGLI).
  3. Proof of a Family Servicemember’s Group Life Insurance Policy (FSGLI)
  • Proof of service Member’s health insurance policy on behalf of dependents.
  1. Any other evidence of a joint-life.

10 Months or More after filing –Interview Request.  According to USCIS during the pandemic USCIS is not holding any in-person interviews. For now, it seems that USCIS is merely putting the cases on hold, especially the waiver cases.

Generally, USCIS must interview the conditional resident, unless the interview is waived.  USCIS can waive the interview if the officer is satisfied that:

  1. The officer can make a decision based on the record because it contains sufficient evidence about the bona fides of the marriage and marriage was not entered into in order to evade U.S. immigration laws.
  2. There is no indication of fraud or misrepresentation.
  3. There are no complex facts or issues that require an interview to resolve or
  4. For cases received on/or after December 10, 2018, USCIS has previously interviewed the principal petitioner (conditional resident).

If for any reason the officer has any doubts about your case, you can expect an interview to be issued.   You should bring all the documents you filed with USCIS, plus any additional evidence of your joint-life.  Make sure that you bring the original and one copy of each document.  This way if the Officer wants a certain document, you can give them the copy and keep the original.

This interview may be a lot harder than the first interview you had for your Green Card. The Officer will question you and your spouse about your marriage and your life.  Even if your marriage has ended, your ex-spouse can appear if they so choose.   Since you will be married for almost 3 years, you should know your spouse very well.

If you do not do well, then a second interview – Stokes Interview – may be scheduled.  Stokes Interviews are notoriously difficult and different from any prior interviews.  If you are scheduled for a second interview on your I-751, you need to consider hiring an attorney to not only prepare you for the interview but to attend the interview with you.

The Stokes interview will be recorded, you and your spouse will be separated and asked very personal and invasive questions, including questions about your sex-life.  The Officer will be able to compare your recorded statements for any discrepancies.  The Officer will then give you and your spouse a chance to explain any discrepancies. Failing this interview will result in a denial of the I-751 petition and eventually being placed into removal/deportation proceedings.

  • 12 – 24 Months after filing USCIS will mail their Decision – either Approved or Denied.

If your I-751 is approved, you will first receive an Approval Notice from USCIS.  About 30 – 60 days later you will receive the 10-year Green Card.  USCIS will send this card via USPS mail with Priority Tracking.  Having an online Account with USCIS will allow you to retrieve the tracking number.   Once you get the Green Card, carefully check it for any errors.  If there are any errors, you will need to file the I-90 form and return the card, requesting a new one.  If the error was made by USCIS, you do not have to pay to file the I-90.

I-751 Processing Time 2021:

How long does it take for the I-751 to be approved?

Unfortunately, the I-751 has one of the longest Processing times – between 12 – 19 months.  USCIS will extend your Green Card for 18 months (from the date it expires).  The USCIS receipt notice you prove your legal status for work, allow you to travel internationally and be used to renew your driver’s license.  The only thing that may expedite the process is if you are in the US Military (Active Duty).  Otherwise, not even providing tons of evidence, including having children born to the marriage will expedite the process. Bottomline USCIS takes its sweet time processing the I-751 petitions.

The only good thing about the I-751 Process is that the conditional resident can file for U.S. Citizenship even if the I-751 is still pending.  The basic requirements to file for U.S. Citizenship:

  • The conditional resident is still married
  • They have been married for 3 years
  • The conditional resident has had their Green Card for 2 years and 9 months
  • The sponsoring spouse has been a U.S. Citizen for 3 years.

The conditional resident will also need to meet the other requirements such as the physical presence/continuous residence and no criminal incidents which make them ineligible.

I-751 Checklist:

What documents should I send with my I-751 Petition?

The I-751 Petition is document intensive and will require that you be organized and prepared to provide all the evidence you have of a bona fide marriage, even if your marriage ended.

The most important thing to keep in mind is that the documents you provide must cover from the date of Marriage to the date you file the case or if you are no longer married, until the date your marriage ended.

  1. USCIS places a lot of weight on – proof of joint ownership of assets, joint responsibility for liabilities and active commingling of finances. Evidence that  you have combined financial resources such as:
  2. Full Checking, Savings or investment account statements showing ALL the transaction pages. USCIS will review the statements to see that the accounts have been actively used on a routine basis by both spouses for household and living expenses through the marriage
  3. Proof that you and your spouse have made estate, health and financial planning arrangements with each other – such as a will, trust or durable power of attorney for health or property or both.
  4. Federal and State Tax Returns, including relevant schedules and attachments such as W2 from date of Marriage to present. USCIS prefers that there is PROOF of filing with the IRS.  So it is best to order the actual Return and Wage and Income Transcripts from the IRS instead of sending a copy of the returns https://www.irs.gov/individuals/get-transcript )
  5. Joint utility bills, family plan cell phones, etc.
  6. Joint Loan or credit card account statements.
  7. Any other joint accounts that prove your joint-life.
  8. Children as a result of your marriage
  9. Copies of civilly registered birth certificates
  10. Final Adoption Decrees for any children adopted
  11. Court guardianship records for any stepchildren
  12. School/Medical Records indicating the stepparent as a contact/guardian
  13. Proof that you and your spouse have resided together and shared responsibility for a common residence.
  14. Lease in both names showing joint occupancy
  15. Deeds or Mortgages in both names showing joint ownership
  16. Copies of Driver’s Licenses/Identity Cards showing same residence.
  17. Proof of joint trips or vacations.
  18. Itineraries
  19. Boarding passes
  20. Hotel/Car Rental Receipts
  21. Passport – entry/exit stamps and visas
  22. Military Documentation (if applicable)
  23. All pages from DD-1172 Form
  24. Military Identification Card for both spouses and children
  25. Form DD-1278 – if deployed outside the US
  26. Permanent Change of Status documents – if deployed outside the US
  27. Designation of spouse as beneficiary of SGLI policy
  28. Proof of health insurance policy on behalf of dependents.
  29. Affidavits from third parties who have knowledge of the bona fides of the marriage
  30. Must contain the affiants full name, address, date, and place of birth
  31. Include detailed information on how the affiant acquired first-hand knowledge of the marital relationship
  32. Proof – such as photographs etc.
  33. Affiants may be called to testify before an immigration officer regarding the affidavit.
  34. Photographs of joint-life
  35. Do not provide the original photographs.
  36. Create a word document with the photographs in date order. Then print out the document in color and file with the I-751
  37. Note the date, location, and occasion for each photograph.
  38. If you are outside the U.S. you must provide
  39. Two (2) passport-style photographs for each spouse and any children who are applying
  40. Two completed Form RD-258 Fingerprint Cards for each spouse and children over the age of 14
  41. Copy of current military/government orders.

I-751 Form:

The I-751 Form is used to apply to remove the conditions on the Green Card for people who obtained their status through Marriage.

You can download a fillable I-751 form from USCIS at  https://www.uscis.gov/i-751

You should also download the instructions to the form as well.

It is an eleven (11) page document, which asks information about each spouse, dependent children, and your marriage.  Make sure that you either type or print the information in black ink.  If your handwriting is not good, you should consider asking someone else to fill out the form.  You want to make sure that the information you provide is crystal clear to avoid any misunderstanding.  Also, USCIS may reject your petition if it is not legible.

As with all USCIS forms, there is limited space so make sure to use the last page for any information that does not fit.   You should have on hand copies of your prior marriage case forms.  This will ensure that the information you provide is accurate and the same as before.  Also, if there was a mistake in the prior filings you should ask a lawyer if it is something that can negatively affect your case.

It is important to note that all questions are applicable.  So, if for example you have no children, you can just write None on the first question of the section, do not leave it blank; then skip to the next question.

Part 1 Information about Conditional Resident (pages 1-2)

Your Name:  If you decide to take your married name, you should note it here.

2-3.  Other Names Used: This includes prior maiden names and nicknames.

4-6. Information about your birth and citizenship.

7-9. Personal Identification Numbers:

Your Alien Registration Number is on your Green Card (aka USCIS #).

You will ONLY have a USCIS Online Registration Number if you requested an account from USCIS at  https://myaccount.uscis.gov/

10 – 14. Information about your Marriage and Conditional Residence.

15 – 17. Address Information.  ONLY provide your Physical Address if it is DIFFERENT from your mailing address.

18 – 23. Specific information about any proceedings, illegal activities, and residence.

Part 2 – Biographic Information (page 2) – about the Conditional Resident

Part 3 – Basis for Petition (page 3)  – It is especially important that you answer Question #1.

Only complete 1c – g if you are requesting that the joint filing requirement be waived.

Part 4 – Information about Sponsoring Spouse – indicate your relationship and provide their mailing and physical address.

Part 5 – Information about your children (page 3 – 5)– if you have more than 5 children, make sure to use page 12 addendum and provide the same information for any other children.

Part 6 – Accommodations for Disabilities/Impairments (page 5)– Questions 1 – 3 for you, your spouse or any children applying.   If anyone has a disability make sure to complete #4 – indicate who has the disability/impairment, what the disability is and what accommodations are required.

Part 7 – Petitioner’s Statement, etc. (page 6 -7)  Usually it is the sponsoring spouse who is considered the PETITIONER, but on the  I-751 the foreign spouse is considered the PETITIONER.

#1 – #2 – indicate if you can read and understand English and provide name of who prepared the form if it was not you or your spouse.  #3 provide your contact information. Write the Foreign Spouse’s name under Acknowledgement of Appointment at USCIS (page 6).   The  foreign spouse should sign and date at Petitioner’s Signature section – on the current form that is on page 7, #6a-b.

Part 8 – Spouse’s Statement – (page 7 – 8)  Provide information about the spouse (sponsor) from English proficiency, name of preparer and contact information.   Write the sponsoring spouse’s name under Acknowledgement of Appointment on Page 8.  The sponsoring spouse should sign on Page 8, #6a-b.

Part 9 – Interpreter Information (page 8 – 9) Only complete this section if you do no speak or understand English.  Make sure that the interpreter signs and dates the form on Page 9, #6a-6b.

Part 10 – Preparer Information (page 9 – 10) Only complete this section if someone other than you or your spouse completed the form.  The preparer must sign and date the form on Page 11, #8a-b

Make sure to double check your form. Check that all the information is 100% correct and that the form is properly signed and dated.  Remember, either type in the information or use black ink (pen).

I-751 USCIS Filing Fee:

How much does it cost to file the I-751?

Currently the fee to file the I-751 is $680.00 – which includes the biometrics.

If you any children are included in the filing you must pay $85.00 for each child.

USCIS updates the fees from time to time so  before you file any petition you should always double check to make sure the fees have not changed.  Go to:  https://www.uscis.gov/i-751

You can pay the fee with money order, personal check, or cashier’s check.  But using a personal check will be easier and offer you some added security.  With a personal check you will be able to obtain a copy of the cashed check from your bank.  Many times USCIS will stamp the back of the check with the USCIS receipt number.  It is almost impossible to obtain a copy of the cashed money order.

How do I fill out a personal check?

First, you should fill out the current date.  Usually, the date line is located at the top-right of the check.  You should not post-date (future date) your check.

Second, write the Name and address of the payor – the person providing the check.  The payment does not have to come from either spouse.  If the check does not have the payor’s name or address preprinted, you can very clearly handwrite the information at the top of the check.

Third, write the name of the payee (person/organization receiving the payment).  Many checks will state – “Pay to the Order Of” before the blank line.  The check must be payable to US Department of Homeland Security. You should not abbreviate the name.  If need be, write very small to ensure that the whole name fits on the line.

Fourth, write the payment amount in numbers clearly in the box after the payee name.  Currently the I-751 with biometrics costs six-hundred eighty.  You can either write the amount as:  680 or 680.00.  You do not have to include the dollar sign ($).  It is important that the numeric amount is correct or else USCIS may reject your petition.

Fifth, write the payment amount in words on the line below the payee’s name.  The written amount must match the numeric amount in the box.  This is the tricky part for some people.  Many people tend to write the payment amount incorrectly.  This may not create any problems in your everyday life, but it can create a problem with USCIS.  If the dollar amount is written incorrectly USCIS has been known to reject cases.  If USCIS rejects your case they will mail everything back to you.  This can sometimes take them up to a month or more to do so.  As you can see this will create a delay in your filing of the I-751.

Many people will incorrectly write the payment fee as: Six Hundred & Eighty, which in actuality means $600.80 and not $680.00. The “and” goes before the cents.

As stated before, the I-751 fee is $680.00.  The correct way to write this amount is:

Six-hundred Eighty & 00/100.

If the amount was $685.85, then you would write the 85 cents over 100 like this:

Six-hundred Eighty & 85/100

Sixth, write a memo – Jane Doe, I-751.  This way you will know what the check was for.

Seventh, the payor must sign the check.  Many people erroneously sign the back of the check.  The payor must ONLY sign the front of the check – line at the bottom right of the check.

How do I fill out a Cashier’s Check?

If you use a Cashier’s Check to pay the USCIS fee, you will not have to worry about the numeric or written payment amounts as they will be preprinted on the check.  So, you will only have to write  a memo indicating what the check is for and the payee’s name if it was not already preprinted on the check.

Cashier’s Checks are issued directly from a bank and as long as you provide the correct information you should have no problems with the check.   But you should inquire to see how you can obtain a copy of the cashed check if necessary.

How do I fill out a Money Order?

When you use a Money Order, you do not have to worry about the numeric or written payment amounts as they will be preprinted on the Money Order.  So as long as you provided the correct payment amount all you have to worry about is providing the payor and payee information.

Each Money Order is different, but the information you need to provide is the same as with a check.  The only difference is that many Money Orders have limited space to write the information.  If you get the money order from the Post Office, the payor amount is written on the left-hand side of the money order and the payee information is on the right-hand side.

Payor (purchaser) – provide the name and if space allows current address of the person that purchased the money order.  It is preferrable that the conditional resident purchases the money order.  This way if the payment is separated from the case, it can easily be traced and or returned to the payor.

Payee – write  US Department of Homeland Security.  Remember, do not abbreviate the name.

Sign – the purchaser must sign the Money Order.  The signature section may be called – Purchaser’s signature, Purchaser, Signer or Drawer.  As with checks, do not sign the back of the Money Order.

Make sure to keep a copy of the completed Money Order for your records.

Carefully preparing your payment document can ensure quick processing of your I-751.

I-751 Filing Address:

Where do I file my I-751?

Currently, all I-751 Petitions are filed at the Phoenix Lockbox.

U.S. Postal Service (USPS)

USCIS

PO Box 21200

Phoenix, AZ 85036

FedEx, UPS, and DHL

USCIS

Attn: I-751

1820 E. Skyharbor Circle S

Suite 100

Phoenix, AZ 85034

Before you mail out anything to USCIS always double check that the filing address has not changed.  Go to:  https://www.uscis.gov/i-751

Make sure to make a copy of everything you included and keep the tracking information in your records.

You should never send anything to USCIS through “regular mail”.  You need to make sure that you have proof of filing should USCIS lose your petition.

USPS is extremely unreliable and even when you pay for priority mail it never gets there on time. The only pro is that the price might be less than other carriers.  But at the end of the day, you need a carrier that is known for its reliability.

FedEx/UPS are your best options. They offer overnight service which is great if you wait until the last minute to file. Furthermore, you will have a tracking number to keep track of the mail.

Considering the importance of this filing, the last thing you want to worry about is if your package is lost in the mail.  Spend the extra money and ensure that it is delivered in a timely and professional manner.