What is the I-751 Petition to Remove Conditions?
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 I-751 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.
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.