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Immigration Law - Houston

Filing an I-751 to Remove Conditions on my Green Card

If you’re thinking about filing an I-751 to remove Conditions on my green card, this article may have some helpful information. You might be asking yourself, what is a conditional green card?  Any non-citizen who marries a United States Citizen and files for adjustment within the first two years of marriage what is called a conditional green card that will expire in two years. Prior to expiration of the green card you would need to file removal of conditions known as an I-751.

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What do I need to do to remove conditions on my green card?

My conditional green card will expire in a few months. What should I do?

A person who got their green card based on a marriage that was less than 2 years old when the green card was issued must file to remove conditions on his/her residence. Read more about:  Removing Conditions from a Green Card Obtained Through Marriage 

Couples who know that this is coming up can prepare ahead of time to file a Joint I-751 Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence. The Joint Petition should include proof that the couple has lived together since the green card was issued and that the couple has established a life together. This Joint I-751 Petition should be filed in the 90 days prior to the expiration of the conditional card.

What if my conditional resident card already expired and my spouse and I still haven’t filed a joint petition to remove conditions?

Good news – USCIS has discretion to accept late-filed I-751 Joint Petitions. You may still file your Joint I-751 with an explanation of why it was not filed within the 90 days prior to expiration of the conditional resident card. Your Joint Petition should also include proof of cohabitation just as a timely-filed I-751 Joint Petition would. 

I have a conditional green card, do I have to stay married to remove conditions?

I have a conditional green card, and my spouse and I are having problems. Do I have to stay married to remove conditions? The answer is no. There are two ways to remove conditions on a conditional green card.

  • The first is to jointly file an I-751 and show that your marriage is continuing to thrive, and you can provide additional proof.
  • The second way to remove conditions is to file an I-751 waiver. There are 3 reasons for requesting a waiver of filing a joint I-751.
  1. If the immigrant spouse is divorced from the U.S. citizen spouse, the immigrant spouse would request a waiver of the joint filing but would still need to prove that the marriage was bona fide.
  2. If the immigrant spouse was abused or subjected to extreme cruelty by the U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse and the marriage was entered into in good faith, then the immigrant spouse may request a waiver.
  3. If the termination of your status and removal from the United States would result in extreme cruelty.

My spouse and I filed a joint I-751 Petition but now we have filed for divorce.

My spouse and I have already filed a joint I-751, but now we’ve started to have problems and we may file for divorce. Is there anything that I can do? 

Yes! You can ask to have the jointly-filed I-751 petition converted to a waiver.

What type of proof is required for an I-751 filing?

Typically, a couple who is going to file jointly would provide a combination of the following documents within the two years after the green card was received.

  • Joint bank account statements
  • Affidavits from family and friends
  • Joint mortgage statements or leases
  • Utility bills showing that either or both of you are on the accounts for utilities at your home/apartment
  • Joint income tax filings (filed as married filing jointly or married filing separately)
  • Text messages
  • Emails to each other
  • Photos together, especially photos of you with each other’s families or you with each others’ children if you are a blended family
  • Flight itineraries and/or hotel reservations from trips taken plus stamps in passports if these were international trips

Will I have to attend another interview if I’m filing to remove conditions on my green card?

Sometimes USCIS will call you in for an interview whether the I-751 is jointly filed or filed as a waiver. That is why it is good to have an experienced attorney with you who can prepare you and or your spouse for the interview if scheduled.

Immigration Lawyer in Houston

If you or someone you know needs assistance in filing removal of conditions and are not sure if it should be filed jointly or as a waiver, you should speak with an experienced immigration attorney who can help you through the process. Contact our office to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced immigration attorneys.

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