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Immigration Lawyer Chicago/ Filing I-751 While Living Separately/ Form I-751: Requirements, Processing Time, Fees, and FAQs
Form I-751 is used to petition to remove conditions on residence. When you are granted permanent residency, your green card lasts for 10 years. However, if you became a permanent resident by marrying a U.S. citizen, you will go through the process of becoming a conditional permanent resident. You will be granted a conditional green card, allowing you to begin married life as a permanent resident but, as implied, with conditions to your residency. Form I-751 is submitted when the time comes to remove those conditions.
Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence, is a form submitted to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The petition is submitted by an individual who is a conditional permanent resident by way of marriage to a U.S. citizen or has been married for less than two years. The conditional green card expires after two years. You must file Form I-751 just before the two-year mark on your green card.
The purpose of the conditional green card—rather than a permanent residency card—after marriage is to ensure the marriage is bona fide, or in good faith. This lets USCIS know that the marriage was not immigration fraud.
Once you file your Form I-751, USCIS will approve or deny your petition. They may also ask for additional evidence. Upon approval, the conditions on your conditional green card will be removed and you will have Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) status.
If you are not sure whether or not you need to file Form I-751, take a look at your green card. Look at the heading Category. If you see “CR1,” that means that your green card is conditional. In your position, it is typical for a spouse of a U.S. citizen to have a conditional green card if your marriage was within the past two years.
There are 11 parts to Form I-751, Petition To Remove Conditions On Residence. Filing this form requires careful attention to detail. Many signatures are required. It is important to consider that any missed signature can result in a denial of your petition. Working with an immigration attorney can provide the professionalism you need when petitioning to remove your conditions.
Part 1 of Form I-751 is titled “Information About You, the Conditional Resident.” You will provide your birthday, your country of origin, mailing address, and other information about you. Included are two spots asking for your A-Number and USCIS Number. Please note that these two forms of identification are different from each other. Your A-Number is located on your conditional green card and your USCIS Number is for any online correspondence that you have had with USCIS. If you have not created an online account with USCIS, you may not have a USCIS number.
Part 2 of Form I-751 is “Biographic Information.” You will simply fill out this part of the form according to your ethnicity, race, height, weight, eye color, and hair color.
Part 3 is your basis for the petition. It is in this section where you file either jointly or as an individual. We will discuss options for your marital status below. Here you will let USCIS know what your marital status is and the reasons why you are petitioning to lift to conditions on your residency.
Part 4 of Form I-751 is “Information About the U.S. Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident Spouse.” There is also an option to file Form I-751 as a child. If you have conditional residency through your stepparent, you are eligible to file Form I-751. If this is the case, section four allows you to give information about your stepparent. You will also provide a physical address and additional information, including the U.S. citizen or LPR’s name, birthday, Social Security number, and A-Number, if applicable.
If you are a parent, part 5 is where you provide information about your children.
If you need any accommodations for people with disabilities and/or impairments, you state this in part 6 of the petition. This section lets USCIS know that you require accommodations during your immigration process. An example would be the need for a sign language interpreter for your interview process.
Part 7 is where you provide your statement, contact information, and acknowledge your USCIS Application Support Center appointment. You will also be asked to provide the certifications and documentation that you need. Additionally, this is where you will physically sign the form.
If you are filing jointly, part 8 of Form I-751 is where you list your spouse’s contact information. They will also need to provide their signature. Again, if you are not filing jointly, we will discuss the options below. Filing as an individual does not require the signature of a spouse.
If you require an interpreter, you will provide their contact information in part 9. You will need to list their full name, mailing address, contact information, and their statement and signatures. Part 10 is the section where your attorney or anyone else who is helping fill out the form but is not the petitioner must fill out and sign the form.
Any additional information you need to include on your petition to remove conditions on residence goes in part 11. Ask your immigration attorney for help filling out your form. USCIS is extremely particular about how forms are filled out.
Along with the form itself, USCIS requires that additional documentation be submitted with your petition. It is important to only provide replicate forms unless USCIS directly requests original documents.
I-751 requirements include:
Depending on the circumstances in which you are filing Form I-751, you may also need to provide passport photos, dispositions of past criminal history, and/or death certificates. If you are filing as an individual, separate I-751 supporting documents are necessary, including:
If you are filing as an individual who has recently been divorced, you still need to prove that you entered your marriage in good faith. This means you need to present evidence such as photographs, letters, children’s birth certificates, and/or other evidence that shows USCIS that your original intent for marriage was in good faith and not for immigration purposes.
Additional evidence is needed if you are outside the U.S. because of military or other governmental orders. If you are petitioning from outside of the United States because you and your family reside in another country due to the reasons stated above, you need to provide the following I-751 evidence:
If you are filing jointly, then both you and your spouse will fill out Form I-751 and attend the interview. To prove your marriage is bona fide after two years of being together, you will need to provide joint documents and/or photographic evidence. You can also include I-751 affidavit statements from friends and loved ones.
If your marriage has ended in divorce or from extraneous circumstances out of your control, such as domestic violence or death, but you entered your marriage in good faith, you are still able to file Form I-751 to receive lawful permanent residency. You need to prove to USCIS that you entered into a bona fide marriage. In order to file as an individual, you need to present official documentation that your divorce has been finalized, as Form I-751 is meant to be a joint petition.
You are also allowed to petition to remove conditions on a residence if you are separated and still married, although the process can become complicated. Your spouse’s participation in filing with you will determine how your filing process happens. Contact your immigration attorney if you have questions about filing while separated.
If you are wondering where to file I-751, there are two options. USCIS has direct filing addresses, both located in Phoenix, Arizona. Depending on what delivery service you send your form in with, you will either submit your I-751 to:
P.O. Box 21200
Phoenix, AZ 85036
1820 E. Skyharbor Circle S
Phoenix, AZ 85034
Consult your immigration attorney before sending in your Form I-751 and additional required documentation. USCIS will reject any form that is filled out incorrectly. With the short time frame of 90 days, it is important to file your form correctly so you do not get behind, get rejected, or refile past your expiration date.
The filing fee for Form I-751 is $595. There is also an $85 biometrics service fee.
As a review for your Form I-751, you need to submit the following:
When you are given your conditional green card, you have two years before you need to petition for your permanent residency card without conditions. The time frame to file Form I-751 is 90 days before your conditional green card expires.
Timing needs to be precise when filing; if you apply to remove conditions before 90 days, USCIS will return the form and you must refile in less time than allotted. If you file your form after the expiration date, there is a high chance that your Form I-751 will be denied.
I-751 processing time to receive a receipt is about a month to a month and a half after you filed your petition. After you receive your receipt, you will be given an appointment date for your biometrics exam. This should happen approximately 6 to 10 weeks after you filed Form I-751.
We understand wanting to know when you will hear back from USCIS. To find out your case status, you can enter your application number into USCIS’s website and look up your particular case. USCIS will provide updates on the status of your petition.
At your biometrics exam, make sure you bring your:
The experienced attorneys at Scott D. Pollock & Associates P.C. can answer any questions you may have during the process of filling out Form I-751. We are here for any immigration needs you may have. Working with an immigration attorney can alleviate the stress of the time constraint and document requirements that USCIS demands of Form I-751 applicants.
With over 70 years of combined experience, the lawyers at our firm are well-versed in helping you transition from a conditional resident to a Lawful Permanent Resident. Contact us at 312.444.1940 or fill out an online contact form today. We look forward to hearing from you.