O'Neill Hauser Mansfield, P.C. Attorneys at Law

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Helping You With Form I-751, Removal Of Conditions On Residence Status

If you have been married to your spouse for less than two years when your green card was approved, your green card will be conditional and only valid for two years. You must then apply for a removal of conditions to obtain a ten-year green card and seek permanent residency in the United States.

At O’Neil Hauser Mansfield, P.C., our immigration attorneys can help you file a Form I-751 with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). We understand how confusing and overwhelming the immigration process can be. We stand by your side to help you meet your goals. From our office in Boston, we can assist clients throughout Massachusetts and New England.

Filing A Successful Petition

The petition to remove conditional residence status must be filed with USCIS within 90 days of the expiration of the conditional status, or within 90 days before the two year anniversary of the conditional status.

Most often, the petitioner and beneficiary jointly petition USCIS and appear at an interview, that is scheduled at a later date, to establish that the marriage:

  • Was in accordance with the law;
  • Was not judicially annulled or terminated other than by the death of a spouse;
  • Was not entered into for the purpose of procuring an alien’s entry as an immigrant; and
  • That no fee or other consideration was given for filing the immigration petition.

If USCIS makes a favorable determination the conditional status is removed and the beneficiary receives lawful permanent residence status. If there is an adverse decision made by USCIS, conditional status will be terminated at a date of determination. Termination can be reviewed in deportation proceedings.

Required Documents To Prove A Bona Fide Marriage For Removal Of Conditions

Documents to remove conditions on lawful permanent residence should be dated from the time of adjustment of status approval to the date of filing for removal of conditions. They must show a vibrant marriage where responsibility for finance and health is evident as well as a marital union. These documents may include:

  • Birth certificates of children from the marriage;
  • Tax returns (filed jointly, or as married);
  • Savings account bank statements (6 months, joint account);
  • Checking account statements (joint);
  • Lease on apartment/house deed; rent receipts;
  • Insurance policies (spouse as beneficiary); life, car, health;
  • Charge Cards;
  • Letters from the employers, showing who is to be contacted in case of an emergency;
  • Automobile registrations;
  • Drivers licenses (copy of petitioner and applicant’s license if at same address);
  • Social Security cards;
  • Utility bills;
  • Loans/payment vouchers;
  • Doctor’s bills;
  • Medical records/hospital cards (next of kin);
  • Membership cards;
  • Letters written between the parties, or to be couple and other correspondence.

Removal Of Conditions On Residence Status I-751 Waiver

An I-751 Waiver of the Requirement to File the Joint Petition allows an immigrant to file an I-751 petition alone, without a joint petitioner in order to remove conditions on their conditional permanent residence status. An immigrant who has conditional permanent residence status, known as a two-year green card or temporary green card, through marriage to a United States citizen, who is unable to file a joint petition on account of divorce, or death of a U.S. citizen spouse, or a refusal to cooperate by the other joint petitioner can file a waiver without a joint petitioner if they can show:

  • The marriage was entered into in good faith, but the marriage ended through a divorce; and/or
  • The marriage was entered into in good faith, but the marriage ended through the death of the United States citizen spouse; and/or
  • That you were subjected to physical battering and/or extreme mental cruelty by your United States citizen spouse; and/or
  • That your deportation would result in extreme hardship, one greater than normally experienced by someone who is deported.

Similar to the joint petition, the application for a waiver can be filed within 90 days prior to the two year conditional residency expiration. There may be exceptions to this filing deadline. Please contact us to discuss whether any apply in your case.

Proof Of A Good Faith Marriage

In addition to the waiver you must provide documentation that the marriage was not entered into solely for immigration benefits. Some of the documentation to prove this may include and is not limited to:

  • Letters written between the parties, or to the parties and other correspondence referencing both parties as a couple
  • Letters received from a spouse while dating, separated, or during any other stage in the relationship
  • Wedding photographs or photographs of other moments when you and your spouse were together either with other family members or friends
  • Birth certificates of children from the marriage
  • Tax returns (filed jointly, or as married)
  • Savings and checking account statements for the last nine months (joint account)
  • Lease on apartment/ house deed; rent receipts
  • Medical insurance; spouse as a beneficiary, car insurance
  • Charge cards in both your names
  • Letters from employers, showing emergency contact info
  • Automobile registrations
  • Driver’s licenses

These documents should be dated from the time of adjustment of status to the date of filing the petition.

Proof Of Extreme Hardship

In proving that your deportation would result in extreme hardship you must be able to explain the consequences of returning to your country of origin in a written statement. This may include:

  • Showing that you do not speak the language that is spoken in your home country if you have been in the United States since a young age.
  • That your U.S. citizen children would have to accompany you to your country of origin if you are the primary caregiver or custodial guardian resulting in difficulty for your children in assimilating to the culture of your home country.
  • Your U.S. citizen children would not have access to adequate medical care or education in your country of origin.
  • A showing that you have a serious illness and your removal would result in diminishing your health even more.
  • You have close family ties in the United States.
  • You will have lost career opportunities or pensions.
  • There are serious economic and political problems in your country of origin.

Extreme hardship is hardship that is greater than that normally experienced by someone who is deported.

Proof Of Physical Or Psychological Abuse

An applicant may, in some cases, petition to remove conditions where they have been the victim of certain kinds of abuse in the relationship. To prove abuse by a United States spouse, you must write a detailed statement that explains incidents of abuse. Evidence must be provided to support the claim and may include:

  • Police reports documenting any incidents of abuse
  • Past or present court orders, including pleadings and depositions that document abuse
  • Hospital or clinic reports showing incidents of abuse.
  • Letters of support from counselors, mental health professionals, support groups, therapists, etc.

Let’s Get Started On Your Petition

If you are a current conditional lawful permanent resident and need assistance in removing conditions our attorneys want to help you. Call our Boston, Massachusetts, office at 617-855-0444 or send an email to schedule a consultation.