Marriage to a U.S. Citizen and Removal of Conditions

Termination of Conditional Residency (I-751)

If a non-citizen is married to a U.S. Citizen for less than 2 years at the time of the Immigration (Green Card) interview, the foreign national is granted Conditional Permanent Resident Status (CPR).  After two years, the CPR must file a petition to remove the conditions on form I-751 with USCIS. 

This application is to be filed jointly, by both husband and wife or the foreign national may reques a waiver of the joint filing requirment if the non-citizen can establish: 

  1. Removal from the USA woudl result in extreme hardship; 
  2. The CPR entered the marriage in good faith, but the marriage was terminated (other than through death); OR 
  3. The CPR entered the marriage in good faith, but the petitioning spoiuse or parent battered the CPR spouse or child. 

Their must be a final divorce  in order to request a waiver. 

If not divorced, a removal of conditions application must be filed jointly.  To obtain approval, it must be demonstrated that: 

  1. The CPR and petitioning spouse (unless deceased) jointly file an 1-751 within the 90 days immediately before the two year anniversary of the date the CPR obtained permanent resident status; 
  2. The CPR and petitioning spouse (unless deceased) appear for an interview; and 
  3. SCIS determines the following facts are true:  
    • The marriage was legal where it took place;  
    • The marriage has not been terminated; 
    • The marriage was not entered into for the purpose of procuring permanent resident status; and 
    • No fee (other than to an attorney for filing assistance) was paid for the filing of the underlying 1-130 or 1-129F. 

The statute and regulations require approval of the 1-751 petition if the above conditions are met. USCIS may not deny a petition solely because the spouses are separated andlor have initiated divorce or annulment proceedings. 

For more see the April 2009 USCIS Memorandum .

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