Form I-751 - Petition to Remove Conditions


Shorstein, Lasnetski, & Gihon 
helps people
Remove Conditions on Residence

We help our clients through the complicated process of filing Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence.  Whether you are filing a joint petition or you need to file for a waiver, we will take the burden off your shoulders of trying to navigate through all of the forms and redtape involved in the process. 

What is Form I-751 - "Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence?" 

If you got married to a United States citizen within two (2) years of filing for a greencard (Lawful Permanent Resident card), you will become a conditional lawful permanent resident and receive a two (2) year conditional lawful permanent resident card (also known as a conditional greencard).   You must file Form I-751 within 90 days of the expiration of your conditional greencard or you will lose your lawful permanent resident status.  You file this form, along with the filing fee and required evidence with USCIS.  So, it is very important to consult with an attorney well in advance of the expiration of your conditional greencard.  

Why do I have to Submit Form I-751?

The government's purpose for requiring you to file Form I-751 is an attempt to root out marriage fraud.  The government believes that they can discover a great deal of marriage fraud if they look at all short term marriages again two years after the person gets the conditional greencard.  
What do I have to Submit with the Form I-751?

Both you and your U.S. citizen spouse must file a joint I-751.  You must submit Form I-751, the correct filing fee, evidence that your marriage was bona fide at its inception and other evidence.  Evidence of a bona fide marriage often includes evidence from the past two years that you and your spouse have financially and otherwise joined your lives together including joint bank account statements, joint cell phone records, joint utility bill statements, text message printouts, photos, facebook printouts, a lease or deed with both your names on it, and more.  
What if I don't know what to submit or how much to submit?

People who file the Form I-751 often receive a document called an RFE - Request for Evidence.  If you don't submit the correct or enough documentary evidence, you will receive this RFE with a deadline to submit the requested documents.  However, USCIS does not have to issue an RFE.  They can simply deny the Form I-751 outright.  It is important to submit all of the required documentation the first time.

What if I can't file a Joint Petition to Remove Conditions with My Spouse?

There are three exceptions to the joint filing requirement.  In other words, the non-citizen can file the I-751 form without their U.S. citizen spouse under three (3) circumstances:

Extreme Hardship Waiver

    If you can establish extreme hardship , USCIS will waive the requirement that you file Form I-751 with your U.S. citizen spouse.  

Divorce Waiver

If you obtain a divorce from your U.S. citizen spouse, you can file the Form I-751 and request a divorce waiver, however, you will still have to prove that the marriage was entered into in good faith.  Therefore, you will have to submit documentary evidence as if you were filing a joint petition. 

Battered Spouse Waiver

If you were subjected to battery or extreme cruelty by your U.S. citizen spouse, you can file the I-751 without your spouse and ask for a Battered Spouse Waiver, but you must establish that the marriage was entered into in good faith.  

Will I have to Go to an Interview?

USCIS will often require an interview after you file the Form I-751.  If you do have to appear at an interview, the questioning will often focus on the viability of the marriage.  The adjudicator is trying to determine whether the marriage was entered into in good faith.  They will often ask you for evidence at the interview.  They will usually want to see joint bank statements, joint utility bills, joint phone records, photos and more from the time period between when you filed the I-751 and the interview. 

What happens if they deny my I-751? Can I appeal?

Unfortunately, there is no appeal for the I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions of Residence.  You also need to know that USCIS can issue you a Notice to Appear (NTA) and initiate deportation proceedings.  However, you can then have an Immigration Judge decide your petition to remove conditions, so you would essentially get a second bite at the apple.  There are many variable that are important when filing an I-751, so you should consult with an experienced immigration attorney before filing the Form I-751.  

How Long Does it Take to Process the I-751?

USCIS publishes their normal processing times for all forms.  Once you file the I-751 form, USCIS issues you a notice that extends your conditional lawful permanent resident status for 18 months.  You can view the current processing time by clicking on this link.

Why Should I Consult with an Immigration Attorney For My I-751, Petition To Remove Conditions?

It never hurts to consult with an attorney about your particular situation to make sure there are no landmines that await you in the process.  Most immigration attorneys will give you 30 minutes to an hour of their time for a small consultation fee.  In exchange, you should leave the office with more knowledge about the process, knowledge about potential problems that may not have known about, and with guidance on how you should proceed.  Here at Shorstein, Lasnetski, & Gihon, we provide you with as much helpful information as we can so you can make the decision whether to retain us, to proceed on your own, or to seek another immigration attorney.  We will never make you feel pressured to retain us to handle your case.  
Shorstein, Lasnetski & Gihon 
can help you with your 
I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence

Call us at 
904-642-3332 (Jacksonville) 
or
407-228-2019 (Orlando)

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