I-751 Waiver of the Joint Filing Requirement Due to Divorce, Abuse, or Hardship

The petition to remove the conditions on your residence must be signed and filed by both you and your spouse, and your spouse must accompany you to the USCIS interview if one is scheduled. If you have been divorced, are currently separated, or your spouse otherwise refuses to cooperate, all is not lost because you may qualify for a waiver of the joint filing requirement. If you have concerns about filing a petition to remove the conditions on residence, contact us at The Law Firm of Shihab & Associates to consult with one of our attorneys. We have more than 50 years of combined legal experience in complex and immigration law matters.

How do I qualify for a waiver?

There are three situations in which you would qualify for a waiver of the I-751 joint filing requirement, which are divorce, abuse, or extreme hardship. A waiver based upon divorce would be the easiest of the three since it is much easier to prove you are divorced then it is to prove you are abused or will suffer extreme hardship.

Waiver based upon divorce

If you become divorced before filing the I-751 petition, it would be impossible to jointly file because you no longer have that person as a spouse. Once your divorce is final, you can file the I-751 petition along with a request for a waiver based upon your divorce. You must still meet certain criteria in order to remove the conditions on your residence. Your petition must be accompanied by evidence to establish that your marriage was a bona fide real marriage and not a business transaction just to get a green card and that you are legally divorced.

What if my divorce is not final or my spouse will not cooperate with my I-751?

If you must file your petition before your divorce is final, you will be required to have your spouse sign the I-751 form and accompany you to any USCIS interview. This may be impossible if you are separated from your spouse or your spouse otherwise refuses to file the I-751 jointly with you. If this is the case, you will need to file for a waiver based upon abuse or battery by your spouse, or upon extreme hardship to you if you return to your country of origin.

The waiver is easier when you are divorced instead of separated

If your spouse will not join you in filing your I-751 petition, it is better to get a final divorce first, and then file the petition without your spouse. This is because it will be much easier to prove that you are legally divorced than it will be to prove that you have been abused or battered by your spouse or that you would experience extreme hardship if you were to return to your home country. For more information or if you have questions about removing the conditions on your permanent residence, contact our immigration attorneys at The Law Firm of Shihab & Associates, Co., LPA to schedule a consultation with an attorney at an office near you.