Form I-751 | Remove Conditions on Green Card | Immigration Lawyer

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Form I-751 and How to Remove Conditions on Green Card: FAQ

What supporting evidence do you need for Form I-751 in NJ?

The most important evidence you need is to support the bona fides of the marriage, that it isn’t a sham.  What I tell my clients is collect evidence documenting the relationship from when you met to engagement, to marriage, and then to the date of application. That information is provided in the initial spousal petition.  From that date of the application forward and for the next two years, I tell them to keep a copy of every bill, credit card statement, holiday card, and photographs of key events until you file form I-751.  That makes your life a lot easier when it comes to filing for form I-751.  Since you have been collecting the information every month finding it is not a problem.  We ask our clients to keep the documents organized by month.  For example, you can buy one of those accordion files that have 12 separate folders for each month of the year.  When the mail comes in, place a copy in the folder.  When the two years are up, bring those folders to the office.  We organize it chronologically, create an indexed table of contents, prepare the forms, and submit it in a timely fashion.Just make sure you submit new documents. USCIS is not interested in reviewing documents it already has.

Does my U.S. citizen spouse have to attend my interview for my marriage based Green Card?

Yes, both of you will be interviewed before you get your Green Card if you applied for Adjustment of Status. Only if your interview is outside of the U.S. at a consulate is your U.S. citizen spouse not required to attend the interview. The interview is geared to determine that the marriage is in good faith and not solely to achieve an immigration benefit and that all USCIS Forms have been correctly completed.

What if you are late filing a form I-751 to remove conditions on green card in NJ

If you miss the deadline by a short time, mail the application with a cover letter, explaining the delay. The regulations allow you to file late for “good cause” (see 8 C.F.R. § 216.4(a)(6)). Good cause could be a family or medical crisis, a move, or changes at your job.  Just make sure that you corroborate your reason with supporting evidence.  Don’t just say there was a medical emergency; provide medical documents including a letter from the treating physician proving it.  It isn’t what you say, but what you can prove that matters.

If you delay too much you can be placed into removal hearings.  At that point, your explanation becomes harder.

What is a conditional permanent resident?

If you were married within two years of when you petition for your spouse, the status conferred on your spouse is a conditional permanent residence.  This means it expires after two years.

Who is eligible to apply to remove conditions on green card on permanent residence?

You may apply to remove your conditions if you:

  • Are still married to the same U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident after two years (your children may be included in your application if they got their conditional resident status at the same time that you did or within 90 days)
  • Are a child and cannot be included in the application of your parents for a valid reason
  • Have been widowed and was in a marriage that was entered into in good faith
  • Entered into a marriage in good faith, but the marriage was ended through divorce or annulment
  • 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 legal permanent resident spouse
  • Would be subject to extreme hardship on the termination of your conditional resident status

Will I be issued a conditional green card in New Jersey?

USCIS will look at the date of the application and see when you were married.  If the marriage occurred within two years of the application, you will generally be issued a conditional green card.  However, if you have only recently been approved for U.S. residency and are not sure whether you are a conditional resident or when your residency will expire, look at the stamp in your passport if you are consular processing. If it shows “CR-1” then you received only conditional residence. The date below the CR-1 will show you when your two years of conditional residency ends.  Otherwise, wait until you receive your green card.  It will show the date of expiration.  If it is less than two years, you are a conditional green card.

How to remove conditions on green card in New Jersey

If you have a conditional green card that means you were married for less than two years when your spouse applied for you.  Because your marriage is of a short duration USCIS is even more suspicious than usual of fraud.  This gives USCIS a second opportunity to rule on your marriage before you get your permanent green card.  If you don’t apply to remove the conditions by filing a form I-751 or if USCIS determines your marriage is a sham, they will take away your green card and place you in removal hearings.

How to convert a conditional green card to permanent in New Jersey

To convert your conditional status to permanent status, you will need to submit a Petition to Remove the Conditions on Residence (Form I-751), with supporting evidence and the appropriate fees, up to 90 days before your conditional residence status expires. If you apply before the 90, the application will be returned to you.   If you fail to file before the two year anniversary, your card and your conditional residence status will both expire and you could be deported. You have a three-month window to file your application.  You must timely submit the application, the appropriate filing fee, and any supporting evidence in order to qualify.

What Should I Do?

If you face a New Jersey immigration challenge, you may not need an attorney.  Find out by downloading, “Do I Need an Immigration Attorney.”  If you should decide that you need an immigration attorney, find out how to choose the right one by downloading the book, “7 Critical Questions to Ask BEFORE Hiring an Immigration Attorney.”  You can also contact me through this site or by using the chat feature.  If you are ready to speak to our knowledgeable staff you can call 888-695-6169

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