If you were granted conditional resident status through marriage to a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, use Form. I-751 to petition to remove conditions associated with your residency. This document also applies to children who have been granted U.S. conditional residency based on their parent’s marriage to a U.S. citizen,
If your request is granted by the USCIS, the petitioner subsequently becomes a lawful permanent resident of the U.S.
Below you explain essential information about the form and key requirements..
Form I-751 Eligibility Requirements
You can file a Form I-751 if you:
- Are still married to the same U.S. citizen or permanent resident 2 years after you were first granted conditional residency. You are also permitted to include your children if they were granted conditional residency within a 90 day period that you received this status
- Are a child and you cannot be included on your parent’s application
- Entered marriage with a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in good faith; however, the marriage was terminated either through a legal divorce or an annulment
- Are a widow(er) who was in a good faith marriage to a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
- Entered marriage with a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in good faith; however, you or your child(ren) were abused or suffered severe adversity as a result of your spouse
When should Form I-751 be filed?
A conditional residency status usually only lasts for two years. Towards the end of the two-year period, you may need to file a Form I-751, the Petition to Remove Conditions of Residence, to request that USCIS remove the conditions on your residency so that you can become a permanent resident. If you do not file the form in a timely manner to remove the conditions on your residency and finalize your status as a permanent resident, you may risk deportation.
What documents are necessary to file Form I-751?
In order to file Form I-751, you will need to submit the completed petition to USCIS, as well as the following documents:
- A copy of the front and back of your Permanent Resident Card
- If you are including any conditional resident children in your petition, a copy of the front and back of their Permanent Resident Card(s)
- Evidence of the relationship. Submit copies of documents indicating that the marriage upon which you were granted status was entered in good faith to demonstrate the circumstances of the relationship from the date of the marriage to the present date.
- If you have ever been arrested, charged with a crime, or convicted, then you are required to provide copies of dispositions
- If you have legally changed your name, a copy of a court order that supports the change in name
Documents that prove a good faith marriage
Providing evidence that your marriage or your parent’s marriage was/is in good faith is very important. USCIS will thoroughly assess the nature of your relationship to ensure that you did not enter the relationship to evade immigration laws; in other words, your marriage was not arranged for the sole purpose of attaining a Green Card.
To prove that the authenticity of the marriage, USCIS suggests providing documents that cover the two years since you or your parents were granted conditional residency. Examples of documents that can serve as evidence of the authenticity of the marriage include:
- Documents that illustrate you and your spouse (or your parents) jointly own assets, such as real estate, insurance, bank accounts (savings, checking, and/or investments) and tax returns
- Documents that illustrate you and your spouse (or your parents) jointly own liabilities, such as mortgages, auto loans, utility bills, and credit cards
- Birth certificates of any children that were born during the two year period that conditional residency was granted
- Certificates of ownership for any properties that are jointly owned
- Affidavits from credible resources that demonstrate your (or your parents’) marriage is authentic. Any affidavits provided should typically include the name and address of the person providing the information, how they know you and your spouse (or your parents) and why he or she is a credible source of the authenticity of the marriage
If you are filing Form I-751 abroad, you may also need to include the following with your petition:
- Two passport-type photos for each petitioner who is filing as well as dependents, regardless of their age
- Two completed Form FD-258 Fingerprint Cards for each petitioner who is filing as well as dependents who are between the ages of 17 and 79
- If you are filing based on government or military services, copies of the current government or military orders
If you are filing the petition within the U.S., you may also be required to attend a biometrics service appointment.
Additional documentation for specific cases
- If you are filing a petition and your spouse has passed away, you will also need to include a copy of your spouse’s death certificate
- If you are filing a petition and the marriage has been terminated (you or your parents were divorced or the marriage was annulled), you may also need to include a copy of the divorce or annulment decree. You should also include evidence that describes the circumstances that led to the end of the marriage
- If you are filing a petition for you and/or your conditional resident child(ren), you should also provide evidence that illustrates abuse such as police reports, court proceedings, medical records, records of entry to a shelter for the battered/abused, photographs that illustrate any injuries that you or your children have sustained, affidavits from credible witnesses that support the batter or abuse of you and/or your children
- If you are filing a petition because you and your children would suffer extreme hardship if you were removed from the U.S., you may also provide evidence that illustrates the type of hardship that would be endured
- If you are a child who is filing a petition apart from your parent, you should also include a thorough explanation and documents that support the reasoning for separate filing
How to complete Form I-751
- Type or print legibly in black ink
- Answer all questions to the best of your ability with accurate information. If you are unable to answer any questions, write “not applicable” or “unknown” in the provided space. If a question does not apply to you, write “N/A” in the space provided, unless you are otherwise directed
- If you require extra space to fully and accurately answer any questions within the petition, use Part II. Additional Information. Alternatively, you may provide additional information on separate pieces of paper. Make sure to print your full name and Permanent Resident Card details at the top of each additional piece of paper and clearly indicate the page number, part number, and item number that the answer is referring to. Furthermore, each additional piece of paper should be signed and dated
- Provide all biographic information requested in part 2 of the form. Doing so will minimize the amount of time you will spend at your biometrics service appointment
- Choose the option that most accurately describes your race and ethnicity
- Choose the option that best matches your height in both feet and inches; for instance, if you are five feet, four inches tall, select “5” for feet and “04” for inches. Height should be entered in the Imperial system, not the metric system (not meters and centimeters)
- Provide your weight in pounds, not in kilograms; for example, 150 pounds (lbs) instead of 68 kilograms (kg). If you are unsure of your weight or you need to enter a weight that is less than 30 pounds or more than 699 pounds, enter “000”.
- Choose the option that best describes your eye and hair color
- Indicate that you have read and understood the petition or that you have worked with an interpreter to understand the application requirements
- If someone prepared the petition for you, indicate that you have had assistance
- Affirm that you read or that your interpreter or preparer read you the petition and that you understood it
- Sign and date the petition. The petition must be signed by the petitioner or the parent or legal guardian of the petitioner. Typed or stamped names will not be accepted as a signature
- Provide your contact information, including your daytime phone number, a mobile phone number (if applicable), and an email address (if applicable)
- If someone interpreted the petition for you, the signature, certification, and contact information of the interpreter must also be included in the petition
- If someone prepared the petition for you, the signature, statement, certification, and contact information of the preparer must be included in the petition
- Acknowledge that you are aware of your appointment at a USCIS Application Support Center (ASC) if you are submitting the petition from within the U.S.
Is there a filing fee?
Yes. There is a filing fee of $595. If you are filing the petition within the U.S., you may also be required to pay for a biometric service fee of $85. You may pay these fees with a personal check, a cashier’s check, a money order, or by credit card. If you are paying by credit card, USCIS accepts Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express.
What is the processing time?
As with any USCIS petition or application, processing times for Form I-751 vary depending on the nature of the case. The number of applications and petitions that have been received by USCIS will affect processing times, as will the accuracy of the information and the amount of evidence you provided with your petition. Typically, however, the processing time for this form is between 5 and 12 months.
Once your petition has been reviewed, you will be contacted by USCIS for an interview, if necessary. If you filed your petition jointly and provided strong evidence that your marriage is in good faith, the interview may be waived.
If your petition is approved, USCIS will remove the conditions on your residence and you will become a lawful permanent resident of the U.S.
Obtaining permanent residency in the United States can be a tricky path to navigate and removing the nonimmigrant conditions associated with your residency is not always a cakewalk either. That’s why getting an approved Form I-751 is often a cause for celebration in addition to becoming a permanent resident. But before you break out the champagne, it is important to put some thought into how your life will be now that you are a lawful U.S. permanent resident.
One of the first things to consider is how you’ll build a solid U.S. credit history and ultimately, a good U.S. credit score. Having spent some time in the U.S. already, you may have already noticed that it is almost impossible to apply for a credit card, obtain a loan or even rent your choice apartment without a U.S. credit score. Even the credit history you built back in your home country cannot be used in the U.S. when applying for these credit products or services. So how do you go about it?
Nova Credit helps you arrive and thrive in the U.S.
Nova Credit provides a number of products and services to immigrants to the U.S. that allows them to establish and maintain their U.S. credit scores. One of such products is the Global Credit Passport® which essentially helps people transfer their credit history with them when they move to the U.S. With this, creditors and lenders in the United States can evaluate your application for credit cards, apartment rentals, car leases, student loans and other forms of credit services with a much higher chance of approving them.
Once you’ve obtained, say a U.S. credit card or a phone plan and are making diligent monthly payments, you can then begin building your U.S. credit history. Through its many strategic partnerships, Nova Credit also offers a lineup of beneficial newcomer products and services, including apartment guarantors, auto loans and American Express ® credit cards.
Nova Credit currently connects to international credit reporting agencies in Australia, Brazil, Canada, India, Mexico, Nigeria, South Korea and the UK. Get in touch with us today to get started or check out our resource library to learn more about how to navigate life in the U.S. as a newcomer and thrive.
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