Suppose you received your conditional permanent resident status through marriage to a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident. Or if you were admitted to the United States as a fiancé(e) of a U.S. citizen and then married a U.S. citizen, your conditional permanent resident status is only valid for two years and cannot be renewed. You must file an I-751 Form to remove the conditions on your permanent resident status or risk losing your lawful situation.

What is Form I-751?

Form I-751, officially called Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence, is a USCIS form used to obtain a 10-year green card.

If you have been married for less than two years when the marriage-based green card is issued, the green card issued to your spouse will only be valid for two years.

This 2-year green card is called a ‘Conditional resident green card’.

Suppose the children have been granted U.S. conditional residency based on their parent’s marriage to a U.S. citizen or a lawful green card holder. They need to file I-751 as well.

While reviewing your I-751 application, USCIS will have one more opportunity to determine if the marriage is genuine and real.

When to File Form I-751?

It is essential to apply for the removal of your conditional status before the expiry date of the CR-1 (Conditional Residence Green Card). Otherwise, you will be classified as an undocumented immigrant and may be deported. 

Form I-751 must be submitted 90 days before the expiry date of the conditional residence permit that has been valid for two years.

  1. Joint application. If you file this application jointly with your spouse, you must file it within 90 days immediately before the 2-year green card expires.
  2. Filing the application alone. You may file Form I-751 without your spouse if:
  • your spouse is deceased
  • you are divorced
  • you and/or your child, a conditional resident, have been abused or subjected to extreme cruelty. 
  • You can file I-751 any time after being granted a conditional green card.

To determine the exact date your card expires, check the expiration date on your green card.

General tips for filling I-751 Form

  • Remember to sign the form in the space provided. USCIS will reject and return an unsigned document.
  • Use a valid form printout. You can download forms from the USCIS website, fill them out electronically, and print the documents for mailing. 
  • Do not mail a form that you have already submitted online.
  • If you handwrite your answers, use black ink. Make sure all the information you write on the form is transparent so that the information you provide can be read when USCIS processes your form.
  • Ensure that the form’s printing date and page numbers appear at the bottom of the printed pages and that all pages are completed using the same form printing. If any page of the form is missing or is conducted on a different printout, your application may be rejected.
  • Complete the form in full unless the form asks you to leave one or more boxes blank. If you do not complete all sections of the form, we may reject your application for missing information. If you make a mistake, please start again with a clean form.
  • Do not use highlighter pens, correction fluid, or tape. 
  • If you are submitting multiple forms, write your name, date of birth, and A-number (if applicable) precisely the same on each form.
  • Pay the correct fee. 

How to Fill Out I-751 From Explained

The Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence is an 11-paged USCIS form with 11 sections.

  • Part 1: Information About You, the Conditional Resident
  • Part 2: Biographic Information
  • Part 3: Basis for Petition
  • Part 4: Information about the U.S. Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident Spouse
  • Part 5: Information about Your Children
  • Part 6: Accommodation for Individuals with Disabilities and Impairments 
  • Part 7: Petitioner’s Statement, Contact Information, Acknowledgment of Appointment at USCIS Application Support Center, Certification, and Signature
  • Part 8: Information of Individual or Spouse Listed in Part 4 (if applicable)
  • Part 9: Interpreter’s Contact Information, Certification, and Signature
  • Part 10: Information of Person Preparing this Petition, if not the Petitioner 
  • Part 11: Additional Information

 

Part 1: Information About You, the Conditional Resident

Item 1.a. – 1.c.: Enter your last name, first name, and middle name.

Item 2.a. – 3.c.: If you have used other names or legally changed your name, please enter all your previous names here.

Item 4. : Date of Birth. Enter your date of birth here.

Item 5 – 6.: Enter your country of birth and country of citizenship.

Item 7.: Alien Registration Number (A-number): The alien registration number is the identification number assigned to an immigrant by the immigration authorities. If you do not have one, you can enter N/A here.

Item 8.: U.S. Social Security Number: Provide Beneficiary’s U.S. Social Security Number. Leave these fields blank if the Beneficiary doesn’t have any.

Item 9. : USCIS Online Account Number: Leave these fields blank if the Beneficiary has no.

Item 10. Marital Status: Please check your marital status.

Item 11. Date of Marriage: Please enter your date of marriage.

Item 12. Place of Marriage: Please enter the city where you get your marriage certificate. You can find the information on your marriage certificate.

Item 13. Only fill this part if you are divorced or your spouse is deceased. Put the date of divorce or date of death here.

Item 14. Put your 2-year green card expiration date here.

Item 15.a. – 17.e. : Please indicate the petitioner’s address in this section. USCIS will send all case notices by mail. Be sure to update your USCIS information if your mailing address changes.

Part 2: Biographic Information

  1. Ethnicity and Race. Check the boxes that best describe your ethnicity and race.

Ethnicity and race categories and definitions

(1) Hispanic or Latino. A person of Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, South or Central American, or other Spanish origin culture or origin, regardless of race. (NOTE: This category is only included in ethnicity in Part 3, item Number 1.)

(2) White. A person of any indigenous people of European, Middle Eastern, or North African descent.

(3) Asian. A person of indigenous origin from the Far East, Southeast Asia, or India continent, including, for example, Cambodia, China, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippines, the Philippine Peninsula and Islands, Thailand, and Vietnam.

(4) Black or African American. A person of African descent from any black racial group in Africa.

(5) American Indian or Alaska Native. A person of native descent from any of the indigenous peoples of North and North America. South American (including Central American) indigenous people who maintain tribal or community membership.

(6) An indigenous Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander. A person of native descent from any indigenous peoples of the Americas, the Americas, and the Pacific Islands. Indigenous people of Hawaii, Guam, Samoa, or other Pacific Islands.

Height. Select the values that best match your height in feet and inches. For example, if you are 180 cm and nine inches, select “5” for feet and “09” for inches. Do not enter your height in meters or centimeters.

Weight. Enter your weight in kilograms. If you do not know your weight or want to enter a weight that is less than 30 kilograms or more than 699 kilograms, enter “000”. Do not enter your weight in kilograms.

Eye color. Select the box that best describes the color of your eyes.

Hair color. Select the box that best describes the color of your hair.

Part 3: Basis for Petition

In this section, you need to explain the basis for filing the petition.

  • Check one of the boxes “1.a” or “1.b” if you apply for a permanent residence permit with your spouse or parents.
  • Check another option if you are applying alone, and explain why your spouse is not using it with you.

Part 4: Information about the U.S. Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident Spouse

This section requires basic information about the sponsoring spouse who helped the immigrant obtain U.S. conditional permanent resident status. You must select your relationship and provide detailed information like name, date of birth, U.S. social security number, and A-number.

Part 5: Information about Your Children

You can skip this part if you do not have children.

If you have children, check the “yes” box in section 5. 

This way, you do not have to file a separate I-751 declaration for your child. 

Part 6: Accommodation for Individuals with Disabilities and Impairments

In this section, you can inform USCIS of any disabilities or handicaps you may have and request an adjustment to your interview.

Examples include, but are not limited to: 

  • If you are deaf or hard of hearing, USCIS may provide you with a sign language interpreter for an interview or other immigration benefits-related appointment,
  • If you are blind or visually impaired, USCIS may allow you to take an oral exam instead of a written exam; or 
  • If you cannot travel to a USCIS-designated location for the interview, USCIS may visit your home or hospital.

Part 7: Petitioner’s Statement, Contact Information, Acknowledgment of Appointment at USCIS Application Support Centre, Certification, and Signature

You are required to provide your contact information in this section. 

Check the box to indicate that you have either read this petition or that someone has translated it from English into a language you speak fluently. 

If necessary, check the box if someone has drafted this petition for you. You must also certify that you have read and understood (or that an interpreter or preparer has read and understood for you) the Acknowledgment of Appointment at USCIS Application Support Center in Part 7. 

You must also sign and date your application and provide your daytime telephone number, mobile telephone number (if applicable), and email address (if applicable). Each petition MUST be signed by the petitioner (or parent or legal guardian, if applicable). 

A stamped or typed name in place of a signature is not acceptable.

Part 8: Information of Individual or Spouse Listed in Part 4 (if applicable)

In this section, your immigrant spouse, parent, or guardian must provide their personal information and sign it.

Check the box to indicate that you have either read this petition or that someone has translated it from English into a language you speak fluently. 

If necessary, check the box if someone has drafted this petition for you. You must also certify that you have read and understood (or that an interpreter or preparer has read and understood for you) the Acknowledgement of Appointment at USCIS Application Support Center in Part 8. 

You must also sign and date your application and provide your daytime telephone number, cell phone number, and mobile phone number.

(if any) and your email address (if any). 

Each petition MUST be signed by the petitioner (or parent or legal guardian, if applicable). 

A stamped or typed name will not be accepted instead of a signature.

Part 9: Interpreter’s Contact Information, Certification, and Signature

If you used someone as an interpreter – to read you the instructions and questions in this petition in a language you speak fluently, the interpreter must meet the following requirements to complete this section, state his or the name and address of his or her company or organization (if any), his or her daytime telephone number, mobile telephone number (if any) and email address (if any). 

The interpreter must sign and date the application.

Part 10: Information of Person Preparing this Petition, if not the Petitioner 

  • If you fill out the form yourself, you don’t need to worry about this. Leave it blank.
  • This part must be signed by the person who completed your petition if it is someone other than the following person, you, the petitioner. If the same person has acted as both interpreter and preparer, he or she should complete the following information in Part 10. 
  • If the person completing this petition is associated with a company or organization, that person should complete the name and address details of the company or organization. 
  • Anyone who assisted you in completing this petition MUST sign and date the petition. A stamped or typed name instead of a signature is not acceptable.
  •  If the person who helped you complete the petition is an attorney or accredited representative whose representation extends beyond the preparation of this petition, they may also need to submit a completed form. G-28, Statement of Attorney or Accredited Representative, with your petition.

Part 11: Additional Information

This section is for any additional information you want to provide. You can also make copies of this section for extra space and file it with your petition.

Note: USCIS recommends you to save a copy of your completed petition to review in the future. 

Checklist for Form I-751 documents (assembling the I-751 package).

You must submit certain supporting documents along with Form I-751

They include:

  • Copies of the front and back cover of the permanent residence permit; 
  • Copies of the front and back of any permanent residence cards of children who are conditionally resident that you may have attached to your application (if applicable);
  • Proof of family relationship:
  • Provide copies of documents proving that the marriage based on which you were granted status was contracted in good faith and was not intended to circumvent immigration laws. Provide copies of as many documents as possible to prove this fact and to show the circumstances of the relationship from the date of the marriage to the present day. For example:
    • 1. Birth certificates of children born during the marriage, if any; 
    • 2. Lease or mortgage agreements showing joint occupancy and/or ownership of the common home; 
    • 3. Financial documents showing joint ownership of property and joint liability for debts, such as joint savings and checking accounts with transaction histories, complete joint federal and state tax returns, insurance policies with the other spouse listed as a beneficiary, joint utility bills, or joint installment or other loans. If applicable, provide copies of military leave and earnings records showing receipt of Basic Allowance for Quarters (BAQ) with family members and/or the DD-1172 form for military family members’ ID cards. 
    • 4. Other documents you consider relevant to show that your marriage was not entered into to circumvent U.S. immigration laws. 
    • 5. Affidavits sworn under oath or affirmed by at least two persons who have known both of your spouses since you were granted conditional permission to remain in the country and who have personal knowledge of your marriage and your relationship. (These persons may be required to testify before an immigration officer regarding the information in the affidavit.) The original affidavit must be submitted and contain the following information about the affiant: his or her full name and address, date and place of birth, any family relationship to you or your spouse, and full details and particulars of how the person obtained the information. The insurance must be supported by any other evidence listed above.
  • An explanation of why you are filing late (if applicable);
  • An explanation of why you are filing separately from your primary conditional permanent resident parent (if applicable);
  • Decisions on criminal charges, arrests or convictions (if applicable); and 
  • If you are filing outside the United States because you, your spouse, or your adoptive parent is outside the United States by order of the U.S. military or government:
  • Two passport photos for each applicant and dependent, regardless of age.
  • Two completed Form FD-258 fingerprint cards for each petitioner and dependent between the ages of 14 and 79; and
  • A copy of any applicable military or government regulations.  

 

How long does it take to get my Form I-751 approved?

The actual processing time for Form I-751 may vary depending on the number of applications received and the USCIS office processing your case.

Processing time may also depend on the accuracy of the information you provide.

Filing an incomplete application may result in a longer processing time.

What is the processing time for USCIS to process I-751?

According to USCIS, the average time of I-751 processing is 20.4 months.

The detailed timetable is as follows:

CategoryOffice80% of cases are completed within
Removal of lawful permanent resident conditions (spouses of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents)California Service Center22 Months
Nebraska Service Center19 Months
Potomac Service Center32.5 Months
Texas Service Center28 Months
Vermont Service Center24 Months
All Field Offices32 Months

Where is form I-751 sent?

You must mail your completed and signed petition to one of USCIS’s offices, depending on the state of your residence.

Here is the mailing address from USCIS

If you live in:Mail your form to:
Connecticut
Florida
Georgia
Guam
Illinois
Indiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New York
Ohio
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
Vermont
Wisconsin
USCIS Elgin Lockbox

U.S. Postal Service (USPS):

USCIS
Attn: I-751
P.O. Box 4072
Carol Stream, IL 60197-4072

FedEx, UPS, and DHL deliveries:

USCIS
Attn: I-751 (Box 4072)
2500 Westfield Drive
Elgin, IL 60124-7836
Alabama
Alaska
American Samoa
Arizona
Arkansas
Armed Forces Europe
Armed Forces Pacific
Armed Forces Americas
California
Colorado
Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands
Delaware
District of Columbia
Hawaii
Idaho
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Marshall Islands
Micronesia
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Mexico
No State
North Carolina
North Dakota
Oklahoma
Oregon
Palau
Puerto Rico
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
U.S. Virgin Islands
Utah
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wyoming
USCIS Phoenix Lockbox

U.S. Postal Service (USPS):

USCIS
Attn: I-751
P.O. Box 21200
Phoenix, AZ 85036-1200

FedEx, UPS, and DHL deliveries:

USCIS
Attn: I-751 (Box 21200)
1820 E. Skyharbor Circle S
Suite 100
Phoenix, AZ 85034-4850

What happens after filing an I-751 application?  

Once you have completed Form I-751, you must file it to the appropriate USCIS office.

Once USCIS has received your application, it will verify it has been received. 

If you have filed your application correctly, USCIS will send you a letter of receipt.

This letter of acceptance, officially called Form I-797C, Notice of Action, will extend your conditional stay for another 24 months until USCIS reviews your case.

Therefore, always keep the receipt form with your expired conditional green card.

If Form I-751 is not filed correctly, USCIS may send you either a Notice of Action or a Request for Evidence requesting additional documentation. This will delay the entire process.

We strongly recommend you carefully review the I-751 petition and attach all supporting documentation to avoid delays.

USCIS will send you an invitation for biometric testing at the nearest USCIS application support center.

USCIS will notify you of its decision in writing. The decision will be based on a determination of whether you are eligible for the immigration benefits you are applying for. 

The actual processing time for Form I-751 may vary depending on the number of applications received and the USCIS office processing your case.

Processing time may also depend on the accuracy of the information you provide.

Filing an incomplete application may result in a longer processing time.

Can I apply for citizenship (form N-400) while I-751 is pending?

A conditional green card holder with a pending I-751 application may apply for US citizenship.

This means that once you have filed your I-751 application and before you receive your permanent green card, and if you meet all the requirements for citizenship, you can naturalize as a US citizen.

You can apply for US citizenship by filing Form N-400 with USCIS. You must also include your I-751 receipt and a cover letter explaining the reasons for your application.

Conditional green card holders should also note that they can apply for naturalization after living in the United States for three years and living with their US citizen spouse.

Note that conditional green card holders who no longer live with their US citizen spouse due to divorce, annulment, mistreatment, or death of the spouse need to file I-751 separately. And who file Form I-751 separately may only apply for naturalization five years after they have been granted permanent residence.

The processing time for the I-751 can take up to 35 months, while the processing time for naturalization can take up to 12 months.

This means you can become a US citizen before obtaining a permanent green card.

Can I travel after I file an I-751 (within the US and internationally)?

The ability to travel both domestically and internationally is always one of the biggest concerns for people with an immigration case pending.  

Suppose you are a conditional green card holder waiting for an I-751 notification for a permanent green card. In that case, you can travel legally and internationally without the risk of having your status terminated, as long as you follow specific rules. 

Before you leave, you must ensure you have the correct documents to return to the United States. 

Travel documents are required for applicants whose I-751 application is pending

When waiting for a permanent green card, a conditional green card holder must carry these documents with him/her at all times:

a valid and current passport

an expired conditional green card

USCIS I-797C, Notice of Action, acknowledging receipt of Form I-751.

Note: The Notice of Receipt of Form I-751 is likely the only document confirming your lawful immigrant status after your conditional green card expires.

Follow the biometrics appointment.

After receiving your I-797C receipt from the USCIS, you will be scheduled for a biometrics appointment.

It is recommended not to travel until you have completed this appointment or have it collected by someone at your address if it arrives in your absence.

If it arrives while you are traveling, make sure to request USCIS to reschedule the appointment, as your absence in the appointment may lead to an abandonment of your application.

How long can you stay away from the US?

You should only travel outside the United States for up to six months while your Form I-751 application is pending.

If your I-751 application is denied while you are abroad, you may not be able to return to the United States. You may be referred to an immigration judge for removal (deportation) hearing.

However, if you need to leave the United States for an extended period, you should reconsider obtaining permission to enter.

This will avoid problems when US Customs and Border Protection officers let you enter the port because of your expired conditional residence permit.

It would be best if you tried not to travel while your application is pending.

However, if you decide to travel, you must follow all the rules described above.

Who is the Petitioner in I-751?

The conditional green card holder is the petitioner in Form I-751

Does the I-751 require an interview?

Since 2005, conditional green card holders didn’t attend an in-person interview to obtain a permanent green card. 

However, after April 2022, this practice changed, and there are now rare cases where personal interviews are required. 

Most conditional green card holders will not have to attend an interview.

USCIS officers can only consider the interview if:

  • Applicants already have enough evidence that the marriage is real;
  • Both people file I-751 jointly;
  • There’s no evidence of fraud;
  • There are no complex issues;
  • There’s no criminal history.

Note: If you have been scheduled for an I-751 interview, you must attend. 

Failure to do so may result in the termination of your conditional permanent resident status, which will result in deportation proceedings.

 

What happens if my I-751 is denied?

Suppose USCIS rejects your application after you file an I-751. In that case, it will send you a letter explaining the reason for the rejection and a notice to appear in immigration court for the deportation.

You must attend this hearing because it is your second chance to appeal your case. 

You have to convince the judge to grant you permanent residence.

Unfortunately, immigrants do not have the right to appeal directly from a denied USCIS Form I-751. 

The most common reasons for a Form I-751 denial are:

  • Suspicion of a fraudulent marriage
  • Insufficient evidence of a real marriage
  • Late filing of Form I-751
  • Criminal record
  • Absence from interview 

Please note that the green card expires once the I-751 form is rejected, so you will not be allowed to work or travel.

Can I file I-751 before 90 days?

If you are filing your Form I-751 jointly with your U.S. citizen/permanent resident spouse, you must do it during the 90-day period immediately before your conditional green card expires.

On the front side of your conditional green card, you will have two dates, one saying ‘Card Expires’. You must file your form any time during the 90 days before this date.

If you file your Form I-751 early, USCIS will return your application, and you will have to refile it. This might delay your application process, affecting your green card approval timeline.

If you file your Form I-751 after your conditional green card expires, you will lose your resident status and can be deported from the U.S.

However, you may file the Form I-751 individually (without your spouse) petition after the expiration of your conditional green card under special conditions, which may originate due to the termination of your marriage:

  • as a result of divorce, 
  • annulment, or 
  • death of your spouse.

Can I File I-751 By Myself?

The Form I-751 must generally be filed jointly with the sponsoring spouse (U.S. citizen/lawful permanent resident).

However, you can file the petition individually (without the U.S. citizen/permanent resident spouse) at any time after receiving the conditional residence if you meet the following conditions:

  • You or your parents got married in good faith, but your spouse or adoptive parent died later;
  • You or your parents got married in good faith, but the marriage ended in divorce or annulment;
  • you married in good faith, but your spouse abused you or your child or treated you with extreme cruelty;
  • Your parents entered into the marriage in good faith, but either your parents or your parent’s spouse abused you or treated you with extreme cruelty; or
  • Terminating your status and removal from the United States would cause undue hardship.

 

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