Waiver | Immigration Lawyer

Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence with Waiver

If you marry a U.S. Citizen or permanent resident (LPR) and apply right for a green card right after the marriage, you will receive a green card that expires in two years.  In contrast, if you marry a U.S. Citizen or permanent resident (LPR) and apply for the green card two years after the marriage, you will receive a green card that expires in ten years. This 10-year green card can be renewed indefinitely for subsequent periods of ten years.

If you received a 2-year green card through marriage, you are considered a conditional U.S. resident. Your green card is conditioned upon your marriage. Your marriage has to last more than two years for you and your spouse to be able to remove the conditions together. You must apply to remove conditions before your green card expires.  After your application is approved, you become a “permanent lawful resident” (LPR) and you receive a 10-year green card.

The law generally requires that you and your spouse file this petition together. If you do not petition the government to remove the conditions in due time, your green card and your time in the U.S. expire. You will no longer be authorized to stay in the U.S.

How to apply for the Removal of Conditions?

Married couples request the removal of conditions using Form I-751. The form must be submitted to the government with the evidence that the couple is still married in good faith. The package must include government fees and civil documents.

How to apply to Remove Conditions if I am separated or divorced?

If you received a 2-year green card through marriage and your marriage did not last, you may be wondering what will happen if your spouse cannot join you to remove the conditions.  If you do not submit a Form I-751 petition before your green card expires, you will lose your permanent residency and your permission to live in the United States.   However, you may be able to apply for the removal of conditions with a waiver of the joint filing requirement.  This process is generally known as an I-751 waiver.  A waiver of the joint filing requirement ensures that you can stay in the United States even though you are no longer married.

Do I Need An I-751 Waiver?

You need an I-751 waiver if: 1) you have a 2-year green card through marriage, 2) your marriage ended in divorce before your green card expires, and 3) you cannot file a Form I-751 Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence with your spouse.

How Do I Qualify for an I-751 Waiver If I Am Divorced?

An immigration attorney can analyze your specific situation to determine if you qualify for an I-751 waiver after divorce.  Generally, you qualify for an I-751 waiver after divorce if:

  1. You demonstrate that your removal from the united states would result in extreme hardship;
  2. You entered the marriage in good faith, but the marriage ended for a reason other than the death of your spouse; or
  3. You demonstrate that you entered the marriage in good faith, but you or your child(ren) was the victim of abuse by the spouse.
What Documents Do I Need for an I-751 Waiver?

The burden is on you to prove that you qualify for a waiver.  Therefore, it is important that you submit a strong and compelling petition with excellent supporting evidence.  Such evidence should include, but is not limited to:

  1. A detailed affidavit from the applicant explaining your history with your former spouse and the reasons why you are requesting an I-751 waiver,
  2. Evidence that you entered the marriage in good faith,
  3. Evidence that you and your former spouse had a good faith marriage,
  4. Affidavits or statements from others who can attest to your relationship with your former spouse, and
  5. Copy of your divorce judgment or divorce decree.
What if My Divorce is not Final?

If you apply for an I-751 with a waiver, but your divorce is not final, USCIS will send you a Request for Evidence asking for the divorce judgment/decree.  You must submit this to USCIS by the date specified in the letter.  Failure to do so will result in a denial of your petition.  You may still be eligible to submit a subsequent I-751 waiver request once you have the final divorce judgment.

I-751 Waiver Process

The Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence with a waiver must be filed within 90 days before your green card expires.  Therefore, you must be aware of this critical date, mark your calendar, and ensure you submit everything on time.

The petition must be submitted on Form I-751 with all necessary evidence and required USCIS fees.  Once USCIS accepts your petition, it will send you a “receipt” with a unique identification number. This receipt is your proof that you complied with the filing requirements and lets you await the decision while you are in the United States.

I-751 with Waiver Interview

USCIS may schedule you for an interview before a final decision is made on your case.  The interview will happen at your local USCIS office.  The goal of the I-751 with waver interview is to make a final determination on your case.  The law requires a petition to remove conditions on the residence as an extra assurance against sham marriages.

At the interview, the Officer will compare the copies of everything you submitted to the originals.  The Officer will ask you questions about your statement and the evidence that you submitted.  It is important for you to be well prepared for the I-751 interview with a waiver and answer the questions truthfully.

Waiver | Immigration Lawyer

How Terra Immigration Helps

Our immigration lawyers have experience with I-751 waivers.  We are well versed in the law and we create strategic solutions to help you win.  Our immigration attorneys prepare your case with your future in mind.  We anticipate any issues that may arise and we help you have a successful I-751 interview with a waiver.

Let’s talk about your immigration case. Contact us today and speak to an immigration lawyer.

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