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I-751 Petition to Remove the Conditions of Residence: What Is It?

If you received your US permanent residence status (green card) based upon your marriage to a US citizen or permanent resident spouse, and you were married less than 2 years when your green card was approved, you have what is known as conditional permanent resident or CPR status. Once granted, your CPR status will expire after two years, which may result in removal proceedings against you if you do not properly file a timely petition to remove the conditions on your residence. If you are a conditional permanent resident and you have questions about removing the conditions, contact The Law Firm of Shihab & Associates to speak with one of our attorneys. We have more than 50 years of combined legal experience in a wide variety of complex and immigration law matters.

What is a conditional permanent president?

If you obtained your green card as a result of your marriage, you have a unique status that is different from all other permanent residence categories. The difference is that CPR status is conditional for a two-year period after approval, and then it expires. You must take action to remove the conditions under residence before your green card expires or you risk losing your green card and removal from the US.

Why is my green card status conditional?

The reason marriage-based green cards are conditional for the first two years is to stop immigration marriage fraud. The conditional period is designed to ensure that the marriage is real one, not a fraudulent one entered into just to get a green card. In order to remove the conditions, you are required to file a petition and submit evidence showing that your marriage was real during the conditional period in order for you to keep your green card.

How do I remove the conditions and make my green card permanent?
  1. The petition must be filed timely

In order to remove the conditions, you must timely file a Form I-751 Petition to Remove the Conditions on Residence. Timely means you must file the petition during the 90 days before the two-year conditional period expires. If you do not file the petition timely, the USCIS will deny it unless you provided a reasonable explanation showing extenuating circumstances for your untimely filing. Therefore, it is imperative to plan ahead and be sure your petition is ready to file when the 90 day window opens because failure to do so can result in having your green card revoked and you being subsequently removed from the US.

  1. The petition must have sufficient evidence of your bona fide marriage

In order to be approved, you must convince the USCIS Immigration Services Officer (ISO) that your marriage is real, which you can do by submitting evidence that was accumulated after the date you were married. If you submit sufficient evidence to convince the ISO, your petition may be approved without your having to attend an interview at the local USCIS field office. If you are scheduled for an interview, the officer will want to interview both you and your spouse to determine whether your marriage is bona fide. It is extremely important to submit evidence that is relevant and sufficient to establish the bona fides of your marriage, and to properly prepare in the event you are scheduled for an interview.

What if I am no longer with my spouse?

If your marriage is ending, or has already ended, you still may be eligible for a waiver to remove the conditions and receive a permanent green card. However, this can be a very delicate matter and great care should be taken to be sure you meet the criteria for a waiver or your case may be denied. If you have any questions about removing conditions on residence, please 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.

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