An Overview: Petitions to Remove Conditions on
Permanent Residence (I-751)
Due to large amounts of sham marriages and investment visas, USCIS developed another way to screen immigrants to determine whether they are really eligible for their permanent resident status. Therefore, all conditional residents who obtained green cards with 2 year expirations must file an I-751 within 90 days of the two year anniversary in order to obtain a 10-year permanent resident card. This is true for certain investment visas and marriage based visas. This petition is filed jointly with your spouse if you are still married for marriage based cases. In the event that your marriage is no longer viable, you may be eligible for a waiver if you can show your marriage was entered into in good faith or that you were subjected to abuse during the course of the marriage.
If you are requesting a waiver for the joint filing requirement, then you may file any time after your conditional residence is granted, but it should not be filed late without showing good cause. At the end of the 2 year period, USCIS can and often terminates the conditional residency in the absence of a timely filing of the I-751 application. USCIS may excuse a late filing due to extraordinary circumstances, but you will have to provide a written explanation with your petition. For Waiver cases, the burden is a bit higher to show that the marriage was entered into in good faith and higher amounts of evidence will be required.
Generally, cases that are jointly filed cases are processed faster than those requiring waivers. Some joint cases are set for interviews while others are not. Where interviews are set, there is usually a suspicion of fraudulent activity or insufficient evidence filed or disorganized evidence. These application processing times range from 4 months to 2 years from start to finish. Therefore, carefully preparing the paperwork for submission is extremely important.
In the event that the application is denied, the immigrant cannot appeal, rather the applicant will be facing removal proceedings in front of the Immigration Court. This process can result in removal from the United States or reinstatement of the LPR card if sufficient evidence and testimony is presented to the court.
If you are reaching your 2 year anniversary and need to file your I-751 or believe you are eligible for a Waiver, call us today in Tampa at 813.279.6180 or Clearwater at 727.712.2299. We look forward to helping you.