New York Lawyer's Legal Updates

I-751 Removal Of Conditions After Divorce: Supporting Evidence

Author: Green Card Lawyer Alena Shautsova

The removal of one’s conditions on one’s permanent resident status is difficult to accomplish for married couples who have a true bona fide marriage. Without professional help or guidance of an attorney it can be cumbersome for couples who are camera shy, haven’t consolidated their bank accounts into joint bank accounts, or are simply have a relationship that is “under the radar” for what USCIS considers bona fide.

The removal of one’s conditions is made available after 2 years of their approval for the initial permanent residence status (a joint I 751 petition shall be filed within 90 days of the second anniversary of the conditional resident’s green card). That being said, individuals who get divorced during this 2-year period may find it difficult to obtain supporting evidence to prove a bona fide marriage beyond what was initially submitted during their first permanent residence application. This is where a good lawyer who can think outside of the box and be creative becomes the greatest gift you can afford yourself. Not only will an experienced attorney help you to identify potential evidence of a bona fide marriage, but also help you to collect additional evidence. The following supplemental evidence will be helpful in case where the brevity of the marriage to a US Citizen spouse creates a lack of evidence:

Evidence that you may have but do not realize it can be evidence just yet

1. Pictures – A picture can say a thousand words, If you have pictures of you and your ex together and happy find them and present them.

2. Text, Facebook, Skype, Viber, or any other form of communication that shows messages between you and your ex.

3. Receipts to events you and your ex attended, this can be a bill from a restaurant or a credit card statement showing the purchase of movie theater tickets. This is a secondary evidence as you cannot prove that you and your ex attended the event together, but it will help in a good faith attempt to disclose as much as possible regarding the proof of your bona fide marriage.

4. Documents listing you as a beneficiary or emergency contact for your ex. This can be life or health insurance whether private or from work that lists you as a beneficiary or emergency contact. Maybe you have a copy of a gym membership listing you as a beneficiary of your ex or vice versa. The best thing to do is to sit down and think about all the things you and your ex did together during your marriage and figure out what you can get a copy of. A gym membership may not give you a copy of your ex’s registration but they can give you a copy of yours. The DMV will give you a copy of the cars you are registered under which may be a common car between you and your ex.

Evidence that can be collected for the sole purpose of I-751 Removal of conditions

5. Psychological Evaluation from a Licensed professional – When all else fails a licensed psychologist can be pivotal in the event that you lack a majority of the above-mentioned evidence. Psychologists with a background in lie detection are also a plus, when they mention that they believe your story about the relationship between you and your ex it will hold more weight than that of a Psychologist without such experience.

6. Affidavits from friends and family members that can attest to the validity of your relationship.

7. An affidavit from a landlord if a formal lease never existed stating that you and your ex lived together and for which periods of time.

8. Police reports, medical reports, bills, etc.etc.etc.

Of course, do not forget traditional evidence of copies of joint tax returns, utility bills, birth certificates of children born from the ex-spouse. Depending on the grounds of the petition (a joint one or one based on a waiver), a person may be required to prove certain “legal” points in order to remove the condition. If you have questions regarding I 751, please call us at 917-885-2261.

03 January 2017
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