Using Form I-751 to Remove Conditions from a Marriage Green Card
Unfortunately, you cannot remove conditions whenever you please. You can only file Form I-751 – the Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence – in the 90-day window before your marriage green card is set to expire. You must be sure to file on time: If you file too early, your petition will be rejected. If you file too late, you will have overstayed your visa. There is an exception, whereby your application can be filed early at any time after your conditional green card is approved. This exception allows you to file alone and file early because your US citizen spouse is deceased, you are divorced, or you and/or your conditional resident child were battered or subject to extreme cruelty.
In most circumstances, Form I-751 should be filed jointly with your U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse. You may be able to file alone in certain situations, like those described above, again including in scenarios where your spouse has passed away or if you suffered abuse at the hands of your spouse.
Do not worry about your green card expiring once you have submitted Form I-751. Upon receiving your petition, USCIS will send a receipt that extends your green card’s validity for up to 18 months.
To reinforce the authenticity of your marriage, you will need to provide supporting documentation with Form I-751. This evidence should be different than the documents you submitted with your original green card petition. Ideally, you should include newer documents that illustrate the life you have shared over the preceding two years. This might include photos from a recent trip, a birth or adoption certificate for a new child, or documentation of newer financial investments made as a married couple.
You might also need to participate in another in-person interview with a USCIS agent. This interview will be similar to the one conducted as part of the green card petitioning process. The officer will ask questions about your I-751 petition and any evidence you included with your application.
Once your petition has been granted, you will “remove conditions” and receive a non-conditional green card. This green card expires after ten years and can be renewed more easily (and indefinitely). Note that if you are hoping to naturalize and become a U.S. citizen, time spent under a conditional green card does count toward your mandatory waiting period.
Our team at Sarpa Law and can assist you with all elements of your I-751 petition. Our Portland removal of conditions lawyer understands what USCIS looks for when evaluating the authenticity of newer marriages and can leverage that knowledge to benefit your case. We are committed to helping you efficiently remove conditions and can provide the support and guidance you need to succeed.
Schedule an initial consultation to learn more about removing conditions from marriage green cards. Call our Medford office at (541) 262-6677, our Portland office at (503) 755-5587, or contact us online to get started!