Petitions to Remove the Conditions
of Residence (I-751)

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What is Form I-751

Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence, is used by conditional Green Card holders to obtain a permanent unrestricted Green Card. This form is used specifically for people who obtained their conditional Green Card based on a marriage to a U.S. citizen or permanent resident (Green Card holder) or for individuals who obtained their Green Card based on an EB-5 Investment Visa (Removal of Condition for EB-5 Investors).

A conditional Green Card expires two years after its approval date. The holder of the conditional Green Card has to file a petition to remove conditions on his/her Green Card within 90 days of its expiration. This is done by filing Form I-751 with USCIS.

WHY IS FORM I-751 IMPORTANT?

Form I-751 is important for conditional Green Card holders because it allows them to obtain a permanent unrestricted Green Card. This means that the holder of a permanent Green Card has legal permanent residence in the United States and can live and work in the country.

Who has to remove the conditions on their Green Card?

The spouse who has a conditional Green Card has to file to remove the conditions on his or her permanent resident card within 90 days of that card’s expiration.

Typically the couple files jointly. However, there are circumstances where USCIS will waive joint filing and allow the spouse to file for a permanent Green Card on his/her own. This is especially true if the spouse can show that he/she experienced undue hardship or suffered abuse during the relationship.

Examples of cases where joint filing requirement may be waived include:

  • The U.S. citizen spouse has died;
  • The couple is divorced;
  • The conditional resident was battered or subjected to extreme cruelty by the petitioning spouse;
  • The marriage was entered into in good faith but ended due to divorce or annulment;
  • The conditional resident or the child of the conditional resident was subjected to extreme hardship by the termination of their status

What are the Eligibility Criteria (Marriage-based I-751)?

Generally, you can apply to remove your conditions on permanent residence if:

  1. You are still married to the same U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse after 2 years (your children may be included in your application if they received their conditional resident status at the same time that you did or within 90 days);
  2. You are a child and cannot be included in the application of your parents for a valid reason;
  3. You are a widow or widower of a marriage that was entered into in good faith;
  4. You entered into a marriage in good faith, but the marriage was ended through divorce or annulment (Waiver Petitions to remove the conditions of residence based on divorce (I-751)
  5. You entered into a marriage in good faith, but either you or your child were battered or subjected to extreme hardship by your U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse;
  6. The termination of your conditional immigrant resident status would cause extreme hardship to you.

Removing Conditions on Permanent Residency for Investors

The process of removing conditions for investors under the EB-5 category includes:
 

  1. Detailed information regarding the status of the project
  2. Documentation related to the commercial enterprise
  3. Documentation that demonstrates the petitioner’s investments and flow of funds
  4. Documentation showing that the petitioner has maintained their investment
  5. Documentation of job creation

CONDITIONAL RESIDENCE EXPIRES – WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?

Removal of Conditions must be timely filed. If you fail to timely file your petition to remove the conditions or appear for an interview, your immigration status may be terminated. However, USCIS may waive the untimely filing for “good cause and extenuating circumstances.”

IS A PERSONAL INTERVIEW OF THE JOINT PETITIONERS REQUIRED?

You and your spouse may have to appear for an in-person interview at the field office that serves the area where you live. However, the director of the regional service center where you file your petition has the discretion to waive the interview requirement. The director will review the petition to determine whether an interview is required.

If the director is satisfied based on the written petition that your marriage was not entered into to obtain immigration benefits, he or she may waive the interview requirement and approve the petition. If the director is not satisfied with the validity of your marriage based on the petition, he or she will forward the petition to the field office to conduct an interview.

WHAT IF MY PETITION TO REMOVE THE CONDITION ON RESIDENCE IS DENIED?

If you file the I-751 and USCIS denies your petition, you will be placed in removal proceedings, and there is no appeal of a denied petition. An immigration judge does, however, have review jurisdiction over the denied petition. Avoiding denial or placement in deportation proceedings is best achieved by hiring an experienced immigration attorney to assist you along the way. An experienced Miami immigration lawyer can help you present your strongest case and give the USCIS adjudicator no reason to deny your petition.

Contact an Experienced Miami Immigration Attorney

Filing Form I-751 is an important step in maintaining your permanent resident status and obtaining an unrestricted Green Card. It is crucial to follow all guidelines set by USCIS to have a successful petition.

If you are considering filing for removal of conditions on your Green Card, it is highly recommended that you consult with an experienced immigration attorney who can guide you through the process and help you avoid any potential pitfalls.

Our team at The Law Office of Tatiane M. Silva, P.A. has extensive experience in handling all types of immigration matters including petitions to remove conditions on permanent residence. We understand the complex immigration laws and regulations involved and can provide you with expert guidance and representation throughout the process.

Contact our family immigration lawyer today for a consultation to discuss your case and explore your options.

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