New York Lawyer's Legal Updates

Denial of I 751 Petition to Remove Conditions from Green Card

Author: Marriage Visa Attorney Alena Shautsova

Form I 751 petition to remove conditions on permanent residency, must be filed by those couples whose marriage (if one of the spouses is a non-US citizen) is younger than two years at the time of the adjudication of the immigrant visa application or application for adjustment of status. The form must be submitted within 90 days immediately prior to the second anniversary of the grant of permanent residency.

Ordinary, the petition should be filed jointly, by both spouses signing the form and attaching documents sufficiently demonstrating the real marriage: statements of joint bank accounts; leases; birth certificates for couple’ children; evidence of joint trips; affidavits by friends and families, photos, etc.

If a US citizen is not willing to support the petition, the permanent resident has to file form I 751 nevertheless. Such filing is called I 751 filing with request of waiver of joint filing requirement.

Quite often, I 751 application to remove the condition is denied, despite the fact that the couple had no problems with their initial submissions.

Most likely denial is a result of conclusion of the Immigration officer that the petition lacked evidence. If a permanent resident has not received a Notice to Appear (NTA)subsequently to the denial, he/she should immediately contact an Immigration attorney and refile I -751 form with improved supporting documents. Sometimes, submitted I -751 just “gets stuck” in the system, with no decision made on the petition for years. In such a situation, an attorney should follow up with the USCIS and/or refile the petition.

If, however, the NTA was received, a person will have a chance to present new evidence in support of the I 751 form in Immigration court, as well as to present testimony of friends and family members.

Once in deportation proceedings a person will have to prove that she/he has (or had) a bona fide marriage A/K/A a real marriage.

Denial of I -751 petition can be a stressful event, as it essentially means that person’s permanent resident status was terminated. Couples should not treat the I -751 submission as a light event: a through preparation and legal analysis is needed in every case.

18 August 2014
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