Green Card Renewal for Conditional Residents, I-751

I-751 Petition to Remove Conditions on Permanent Residence

You married a U.S. citizen and got a two-year conditional green card. Now what?

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Boston immigration lawyer Joshua Goldstein can help you convert your two-year conditional green card into permanent residency.



To maintain your permanent residency status, your next hurdle in the US immigration process is the Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Permanent Residence. The Immigration Marriage Fraud Amendments of 1986 to the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) established the conditional residency provisions. The purpose of the I-751 is to stop marriage fraud and to ensure that your marriage is “real” and not simply for immigration benefits.

At first glance, Form I-751 appears rather simple. But the entire process of removing the conditions on your permanent residency is filled with traps that only a skilled family immigration attorney can help you avoid. The denial of your I-751 could result in deportation or removal. The stakes are high. Call Massachusetts immigration and citizenship attorney Joshua Goldstein today to schedule an immigration consultation today.

“Why is my green card only valid for two years?”

People who have not been married for at least two years at the time of applying for permanent residency receive two-year conditional residency and not permanent residency, i.e. a ten-year green card. If the marriage has been in existence for over 2 years at the time of the I-485 approval, then the foreign national spouse obtains permanent resident status without any conditions.

I-751 approval requires proof that your marriage is on-going and bona fide

To successfully petition to remove the conditions on your permanent residency status, you must submit evidence to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS, formerly the INS) that your marriage is viable and legitimate through joint bank statement, leases, driver’s licenses, joint income tax returns and other evidence of a shared life. Ultimately, you and your spouse may be subjected to a difficult immigration interview at USCIS before an immigration officer. Do not go to this immigration interview without legal representation.

At the Massachusetts immigration law firm of the Goldstein Immigration Lawyers, our immigration attorneys have the skills, resources, and knowledge of US immigration law to provide you with effective representation at your immigration interview.

Common problem: you separated from your US citizen spouse

Form I-751 must be submitted jointly by you and your spouse. Ideally, you remain happily married and this requirement is no problem. If you and your spouse are still married but are separated or, for some reason, not getting along, you have a serious immigration problem frequently handled by Massachusetts immigration lawyer Joshua Goldstein. The immigration laws permit a waiver of the joint filing requirements of the petition to removal conditional residency in several limited circumstances.

Waiver of Joint Filing Requirement of the I-751 Petition

Conditional residents may request a wavier of the requirement that spouses file Form I-751 jointly. This immigration waiver is filed on the same Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence. Although additional forms are required, the process is considerably more complicated and the assistance of an effective immigration lawyer is even more important.

To qualify for the immigration self-petition waiver, conditional residents must show one of the following:

  • Waiver Based on Death: The conditional resident’s US citizen spouse has died
  • Waiver Based on Divorce: The marriage was entered into in good faith but ended by divorce or annulment
  • Waiver Based on Extreme Cruelty: The marriage was entered into in good faith but the conditional resident’s spouse subjected the conditional resident to battery or extreme cruelty
  • Waiver based on Extreme Hardship: Termination of the conditional resident’s status would cause extreme hardship.

To speak with a leading Boston deportation attorney who can provide you with the direction and legal counsel that you need to successfully obtain an immigration waiver and to petition to remove the conditions on your green card, call the Goldstein Immigration Lawyers today for your consultation at (617) 722-0005.