Form I-7512022-08-02T14:23:29-04:00

Removal of Conditions, Jointly and with Waiver of Joint Filing (Form I-751)

Foreign nationals married to United States citizens for a period of less than two years on the date their green cards are approved are granted conditional residency. Similarly, the children of these foreign national spousal petitions are also granted conditional residency. Conditional residents are granted a two-year green card. To remove conditions on residency and receive a 10-year green card, you must complete Form I-751. This can be a complex process, and denials are common. To protect yourself, contact Garvish Immigration Law Group, LLC. Our Atlanta family-based immigration lawyers explain the requirements for the removal of conditions on your green card. 

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What is A Conditional Green Card? 

A green card, or permanent residence card, is granted by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and authorizes a non-U.S. citizen to live and work in the United States. You may be eligible to receive a green card if sponsored by an employer or family member, an asylum seeker, or through individual filings. Green cards are typically issued for ten years. While the green card expires, the resident status does not expire. The foreign national must renew the green card to receive a new card which serves as proof of permanent residence status.

A conditional green card is granted to those whose marriage to a U.S. citizen occurred less than two years before the issuance of the resident status, as well as their children. A conditional green card, stamped with the letters “CR1”, expires in two years. To remove the conditions of residence and receive a 10-year green card, you will need to submit a petition to USCIS and show once again that your marriage was bona fide at inception (i.e. that it was a real relationship). There is no requirement that the marriage continue to exist; rather, even if the marriage has ended since issuance of the conditional resident card, that it was in fact a real relationship that has since ended. 

What Does It Mean to Remove Conditions of Residence?

Conditional green cards are designed to prevent foreign nationals from circumventing U.S. immigration laws by using sham or arranged marriages to obtain permanent residency status. Provided your marriage is legitimate, you are free to apply for the removal of conditions after two years by filing Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence. You may file jointly with your spouse if the marriage is still in existence, but if the marriage has ended, you may file the petition on your own and request a waiver of the joint filing requirement. 

What If An I-751 Application Is Denied?

When you file Form I-751, there is no guarantee that it will be approved. There are several common reasons for removal of conditions of residence denials:

  • You were late in applying and failed to provide evidence of extenuating circumstances;
  • You did not provide enough evidence supporting your marriage, which may cause USCIS to suspect it is a fraud;
  • You failed to respond to communications from USCIS. 

If your request to remove conditions of residence is denied, USCIS will send a letter notifying you of the reasons. Bring this letter to our Atlanta immigration lawyers, who can guide you in your options for filing an appeal.

Requirements for Removal of Conditions

You must file Form I-751 within 90 days before your conditional Green Card expires. If the marriage is still in existence, you must file with your spouse or stepparent, who was the U.S. citizen or permanent resident petitioner of the green card, and provide supporting evidence of your relationship. This includes: 

  • Birth certificates from children born during the marriage;
  • Lease or mortgage agreements showing you reside together;
  • Bank statements or other documents showing you have jointly owned assets and debts;
  • Any additional documentation that demonstrates you are in a real relationship. 

If the marriage is no longer in existence, you must file the petition on your own and request a waiver of the joint filing requirement.

Once you submit the above, you must attend a biometrics appointment. This consists of fingerprinting and photographs for a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) background check. You must also pay all associated filing fees. You can use the USCIS fee calculator to determine this amount or contact our Georgia immigration attorneys for legal guidance.  

Removal of Conditions Process

You must file Form I-751 within 90 days before your conditional Green Card expires. If the marriage is still in existence, you must file with your spouse or stepparent, who was the U.S. citizen or permanent resident petitioner of the green card, and provide supporting evidence of your relationship. This includes: 

  • Birth certificates from children born during the marriage;
  • Lease or mortgage agreements showing you reside together;
  • Bank statements or other documents showing you have jointly owned assets and debts;
  • Any additional documentation that demonstrates you are in a real relationship. 

If the marriage is no longer in existence, you must file the petition on your own and request a waiver of the joint filing requirement.

Once you submit the above, you must attend a biometrics appointment. This consists of fingerprinting and photographs for a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) background check. You must also pay all associated filing fees. You can use the USCIS fee calculator to determine this amount or contact our Georgia immigration attorneys for legal guidance.  

FAQs About Form I-751

How long does it take to get an application approved, and how can you check the status of your I-751 petition?2022-07-12T12:14:31-04:00

Generally, it takes anywhere from 12 to 36 months to get approval for the removal of conditions on residency. Contact our Georgia immigration attorneys today to help minimize errors and omissions that lead to longer wait times or to check the status of a previously filed petition. 

Do I have to have my conditions removed before I apply for citizenship?2022-07-12T12:14:07-04:00

Removal of conditions on residency is required before an application for citizenship can be approved by USCIS. You may file your application for citizenship if you eligible to do so, even if the petition for removal of conditions is still pending. USCIS will have to approve the removal of conditions first, before it can approve your application for citizenship.

Can I have my conditions removed if I am divorced or if my marriage was annulled?2022-07-12T12:13:22-04:00

Conditional residents on a two-year green card through marriage typically file a joint petition with their spouse for removal of conditions on residency. USCIS may permit a conditional resident to remove conditions on residence after 

  • divorce
  • annulment
  • spouse’s death 
  • cases of extreme cruelty 
  • your removal will result in extreme hardship 
  • other events that make it impossible to file a joint petition with the spouse

Conditional residents can apply for a Waiver for Joint Filing, but this will likely trigger more scrutiny by USCIS to prove it was a valid, bona fide marriage. The applicant must be able to prove that he or she originally entered the marriage in good faith.

Filing Form I-751 with a waiver to the joint filing requirement may require additional documentation, time and fees. Due to the complexity of filing for waiver of joint filing, the assistance of an experienced immigration attorney is strongly recommended.

When can requirements for jointly filing an I-751 petition be waived?2022-07-12T12:13:15-04:00

USCIS may waive requirements for filing jointly with your spouse or stepparent if:

  • The spouse or stepparent is deceased;
  • You married in good faith, but it ended in divorce or annulment; 
  • You married in good faith, but either you or a child was subject to domestic violence or extreme cruelty;
  • Terminating residency status and removal from the United States would result in extreme hardship.
Request A Consultation With Garvish Immigration Law Group, LLC

Get the trusted legal guidance you need in removing conditions on residency from Garvish Immigration Law Group, LLC. We help avoid delays and errors that could jeopardize your ability to remain in the U.S. To request a consultation, call 1.800.951.4980 or contact our Atlanta immigration lawyers online today. 

Request A Consultation With Garvish Immigration Law Group, LLC
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