Removal of Conditional Status-Green Card Based on Marriage: Form I-751

Removal of Conditional Status-Green Card

If a green card holder obtained his or her status through marriage and at the time the green card was approved the couple had been married for less than two years, the green card is conditional, not permanent. Conditional residence expires two years after the date of issuance. This status is conditional because the applicant must prove that the marriage was not entered into solely to obtain an immigration benefit. To remove conditional status, the green card holder and his or her spouse, must file Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence, within 90 days of the expiration of permanent residence, i.e., within 90 days before the second anniversary of when the green card was issued.

Who May File Form I-751

A conditional resident is eligible to remove the conditions on permanent residence if he or she:

  • Is still married to the U.S. citizen or permanent resident sponsor after two years
    • The conditional resident's children may be included in the application if they received their conditional resident status at the same time or within 90 days
  • Is a child and validly cannot be included in his or her parents' application
  • Is a widow or widower who entered the marriage in good faith
  • Is divorced from the sponsor spouse, but entered the marriage in good faith
  • Entered the marriage in good faith, but either the conditional resident or their children were abused by the sponsor spouse

Application for Removal of Conditions

To remove the conditions on permanent residence, the conditional resident and sponsor spouse should file Form I-751 jointly within 90 days of the expiration of the conditional residence.

The application should include the following:

  • Form I-751, completed and signed by the conditional resident and sponsor spouse
  • A copy, front and back, of the conditional green card
  • 2 passport-style photos of the conditional resident and any children included in the application
  • Evidence that the marriage is bona fide and was entered in good faith:

    For example:

    • A deed showing the spouses jointly own property
    • A lease showing joint tenancy of a residence
    • Financial records showing joint ownership of assets and/or joint responsibility for liabilities
    • Birth certificates of any children born during the marriage
    • Mail addressed to both spouses at the marital residence
    • Insurance policies in the name of one spouse listing the other spouse as beneficiary
    • Medical bills showing both spouses' names and address
    • Automobile registrations and driver's licenses showing the marital address
    • Jointly filed income tax returns
    • Any other documents or records to establish the bona fide nature of the marriage and that the marriage was not entered into solely to obtain an immigration benefit

An interview may or may not be required once the application has been filed.

Waiver of Joint Petition Requirement

Conditional residents unable to file Form I-751 with the sponsor spouse may request a waiver of the joint filing requirement if:

  • Deportation or removal of conditional resident status would result in extreme hardship
    • Must include evidence that removal would result in hardship greater than that faced by other aliens in the conditional resident's position
  • The marriage was entered in good faith, but ended in divorce or annulment
    • Must include the decree of divorce or annulment documents, along with evidence of the marital relationship
  • The marriage was entered in good faith, but the sponsor spouse died
    • Must include the death certificate, along with evidence of the marital relationship
  • The marriage was entered in good faith, but the sponsor spouse abused the conditional resident or their children during the marriage
    • Must include evidence of abuse, such as (but not limited to) photos of any injuries, copies of police reports, or legal documents showing a protective order against the abuser

If you have any questions regarding the removal of conditions on permanent residence or its requirements, please contact our office. We at LS&P Lawyers are here to help you.