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Making It Official With a Permanent Green Card: Your Guide to Filing Form I-751

It sounds like congratulations are in order… you have been married and living in the U.S. with your conditional Green Card (2-year Greencard). Now, the department of Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) wants to confirm that your marriage is still intact. 

Here’s the good news: If you are successful, you will be rewarded with a permanent, 10-year Green Card at the end of this process. After all, what is U.S. immigration without a few hoops to jump through? 

In this article, we will cover the ins and outs of the Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence – or Form I-751. Our deep dive will address your most pressing questions without all of the complex language and legal jargon that often appears in the world of immigration. Here, we aim to provide an easy-to-use, accessible guide that is actually helpful. 

Back to Basics

Let’s start with the most important question: Who is this form for? Basically, Form I-751 is for those who have a conditional permanent residence of the United States (2-year Greencard) who obtained this status through marriage and who now want to remove the conditional piece of their resident status. 

In other words, you were awarded a Green Card because of marriage – but you had been married for under two years, and therefore were granted conditional permanent resident status rather than full permanent resident status. Now, whether or not your marriage is still intact, you would like to remain in the States. If that sounds like you, you are in the right place. 

Oftentimes, filing immigration paperwork can seem complicated and stressful – but when you have the proper information and guidance, it does not have to be hard. That’s why our team at Consulta Immigration is committed to empowering YOU with all of the knowledge you need. 

What Time Is It? Filing Time!

So you have determined that you want to remain in the United States as a permanent resident, and you know that you have to file Form I-751 to achieve that goal. You’re probably wondering… what’s the next step? 

Well, it’s time to fill out and file your Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence! Let’s get to it… 

Filing this particular form is a little bit different, because it requires joint filing – yes, that means you will need to file it in conjunction with your spouse. That said, there are a few situations in which you will not need to file jointly. In all of these cases, the U.S. government will want to see that you entered into the marriage in “good faith.” 

  • Extreme Hardship: If termination of your conditional resident status would result in extreme hardship, you can file individually. For example, this could look like returning to a country where you would be harmed or religiously persecuted.
  • Spousal Death: This applies if your spouse passed away following the initial marriage. Since they are not around to sign, you can file individually. 
  • Divorce or Annulment: As long as the government can determine that you entered into the marriage with good intentions, a divorce or annulment will not necessarily get in the way of your permanent resident status. 
  • Abuse and Violence: If you were subjected to emotional and/or physical abuse during the marriage, leaving the marriage will not get in the way of your permanent resident status. 

If any of these situations apply to you, that means you are filing an I-751 self-petition. 

If you are filing jointly with your spouse, you will both need to sign the petition and provide evidence that your marriage is still going strong. For example, joint bank account statements, joint utility bills, joint apartment lease or house deed, joint medical/life insurance, joint Federal Income Tax Return, family photos, etc. Make sure to only include new evidence. Do not include bona fides that were already submitted to USCIS. Remember, they want to see new evidence!  

Don’t Miss the Deadline!

For joint filing, Form I-751 comes with a specific filing window: You will need to file your petition during the 90-day period directly before your conditional residence expires. 

If you are filing individually, however, that window does not come into play. 

Money Matters

When it comes to immigration, money makes a difference – of course, it does! We understand that living in our modern-day world is not cheap, and every dollar counts. That’s why we believe in full transparency when we share filing fees and other costs related to filing immigration forms with Consulta Immigration. 

The USCIS filing fee for the Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence amounts to $595 plus the biometric fee of $85 as of November 2023 – although that value is always subject to change should USCIS make an update. But trust us when we say that working with an expert immigration consulting firm will help you make your dollar stretch further. 

When you file your I-751 petition with our team at Consulta, you’ll pay $500 plus the USCIS fee at the time of filing. So what does that cost cover? Consulta will help you file the most effective petition possible, ensure it gets to the right people, and raise your chances of success. We’re here to empower you and make family-based immigration truly accessible. 

Get Marriage-Based Immigration Right… in Sickness and in Health

At Consulta Immigration, our mission is to redefine family-based immigration. We will work closely with you to support you through the process of filing your Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence so that you can remain in the country you call home, regardless of the status of your marriage. 

We strive to make marriage-based immigration efficient, affordable, and accessible. That’s why we’ll never hit you with hidden terms, sneaky fees, or unnecessary legal jargon. You can do this – and we’re here to help. So what are you waiting for? Let’s get started today.

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