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I-751 Conditional Residency

Conditional green cards are issued to foreign nationals who, at the time of filing a marriage-based green card, have been married to their U.S. citizen spouse for less than two years. A conditional green card is only valid for two years. 

How to Remove Conditions on Residence

To remove the conditions on residence and obtain a 10-year green card, you and your U.S. citizen spouse will need to jointly file Form I-751, Petition to Remove the Conditions on Residence. You will need to submit evidence of your relationship to prove that you entered your marriage in good faith and did not use marriage to circumvent U.S. immigration laws. Such evidence may include copies of joint leases, joint bank account statements, proof that you have children together, etc.

Waivers to Joint Filing

Although applicants are typically required to jointly file Form I-751 with their U.S. citizen spouse, individuals may file Form I-751 with a waiver to the joint filing requirement in several circumstances, including divorce, spousal abuse, or if the termination of status would result in extreme hardship for the applicant.  

Divorce Waivers

If you get divorced while on a conditional green card, you need to provide ample evidence that you got married in good faith and did not use marriage to circumvent U.S. immigration laws in order to remove conditions and obtain a 10-year green card. Such evidence may include affidavits from friends and family, joint utility bills and bank statements for the duration of the marriage, and joint lease agreements or mortgage statements. The divorce must also be finalized, and you must provide a copy of your divorce decree to file for this waiver. 

Domestic Violence Waivers

If you have been the victim of “any act or threatened act of violence” by your U.S. citizen spouse, you may qualify for a waiver based on battery or extreme cruelty. To receive this waiver, you must provide evidence of both your good faith marriage and the abuse. Evidence of abuse may include police and medical reports, court records, photos of injuries, psychological evaluations, and evidence that you sought safety in a shelter.

Published 2 November 2020