Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence I-751

What is Form I-751?

You have been married for less than 2 years and applied for green card based on marriage to a US citizen or lawful permanent resident, the first green card that you receive will be conditional. It will be valid for 2 years. You have to file a Petition to remove conditions on residence, Form I-751, in the 90-day window before your conditional card expires. You can check the expiration date on your conditional green card. The purpose of the petition is to prove to the USCIS once again that your marriage was entered in good faith and not for the purpose of obtaining a green card.

If you fail to file -751 timely, you cannot use your conditional green card any longer and can be placed in removal proceedings.  USCIS may excuse late filing of I-751 if there was a good cause (hospitalization, illness, emergency, taking care of a family member, having a family member in active duty in the US army, etc.) Your explanation for late filing shall be provided in a written statement and accompanied with evidence while filing the I-751. If USCIS accepts the explanation, it will schedule an interview, where you will be asked to provide more detail. USCIS may also deny your Form I-751 if it does not consider the evidence presented as a good cause for late filing. In this case, you can be placed in removal proceedings and you will have a chance to present your evidence to an immigration judge.

If you are married for 2 years or more at the time of the case adjudication, and your case is approved, you will receive a permanent green card.


Petition I-751 should normally be filed jointly with your spouse. In certain circumstances you may seek waiver of joint filing requirement:

  • The marriage was entered in good faith, but your spouse subsequently died.
  • The marriage was entered in good faith but was terminated for the reasons other than death of your spouse. If your marriage is not terminated at the time when your petition is adjudicated, the waiver will not be granted, a request for evidence will be issued providing 87 days to provide the evidence of the marriage termination, and if no divorce decree is provided within the timeframe, the case will be sent to court. For the couples who are separated or in divorce proceedings where the divorce has not been finalized it is possible to file a joint I-751 petition, but they both must attend the interview and demonstrate that although they are separated or in divorce proceedings, the marriage was entered in good faith initially.
  • The marriage was entered in good faith, but the conditional resident or children were the victims of battery or extreme cruelty by the spouse.
  • The removal of the conditional resident would result in extreme hardship for you or your child (you lived in the US for extended period of time, the conditions in your country are such that you can be discriminated or prosecuted, medical issue, the separation or marriage ended due to the fault of the US spouse)


USCIS provides the instructions for filing Form I-751 on its page.

Along with the required documents, you must submit documents demonstrating that you entered the marriage in good faith. These documents should cover the period started when the conditional resident status was granted until the time the I-751 is submitted. The following documents can be provided to demonstrate that your marriage is bona fide. Please note that the list below is not exhaustive.

  • Joint debit / credit / investment account statements
  • Joint mortgage documents, documents demonstrating joint ownership of real estate or other joint assets
  • Utility bills
  • Life / medical Insurance documents
  • Itineraries of your trips together
  • Photographs
  • Birth certificates of the children born in the marriage
  • Affidavits of people who know the spouses, and can provide statements under oath that the marriage was entered in good faith


Once I-751 is filed, USCIS will send you a receipt I-797C confirming that the petition was received and extending your conditional permanent resident status for 18 months. This receipt should be kept with you when you travel outside of the country. The receipt shows that you are authorized to be in the US. The processing time for I-751 is extensive. It might take more than 18 months to adjudicate it. If you decide to travel after the 18-month extension granted by I-797C expires, you should schedule an appointment in a local USCIS office and obtain a I-551 stamp in your passport. This stamp will serve as a proof that your I-751 is pending and you are authorized to travel back to the US.

Your I-751 petition may be approved without an interview if USCIS decides that you have sufficiently demonstrated by documentation that your marriage is a bona fide marriage. However, there is no reason to panic if USCIS schedules an interview. Interviews are common to take decision on I-751 cases. It is recommended to work with a skilled immigration attorney to prepare for your interview.

The I-751 petition should be submitted along with the filing fee and accompanied by the documents per USCIS instructions.

Filing Petition to remove conditions on residency is a crucial step in the process of obtaining permanent residence. Our attorneys provide assistance on every stage of the process.

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