I-751 Petitions for Conditional Permanent Residents

Requirements for Conditional Permanent Residents

Certain lawful permanent residents are admitted as conditional residents. Persons married for less than two years to their U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse on the day they were granted permanent residency are conditional residents. Certain immigrant investors are also conditional residents.

Conditional residents have the same rights as permanent residents, including the right to work in the United States and the right to petition on behalf of certain family members.

I-751 Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence

Petitions to remove conditions must be filed within 90 days before the two year anniversary of when the green card was issued. This date – the filing deadline – is printed as the expiration date on the back of green cards issued to conditional residents. Failure to file within the required 90-day window automatically results in loss of immigration status, which may lead to removal from the United States. The Bureau of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) may accept a late-filed petition only in cases where there was good reason for not filing the petition before the deadline.

Generally, conditional permanent residents that are married must file Form I-751, Petition to Remove the Conditions on Residence, with their spouse. This is called the joint filing requirement.

Waiver of the Joint Filing Requirement for I-751 Petitions

Conditional residents that are no longer married because their marriages have ended in divorce or annulment or because of the death of their spouses, or whose spouses refuse to join in the filing of the petition may request a waiver of the joint filing requirement. The waiver request is filed on Form I-751, Petition to Remove the Conditions of Residence. No additional form is required to request the waiver.

To qualify for the waiver, conditional residents must show one of the following:

  • The conditional resident’s spouse has died; or
  • The marriage was entered into in good faith but ended by divorce or annulment; or
  • The marriage was entered into in good faith but the conditional resident’s spouse subjected the conditional resident to battery or extreme cruelty; or
  • Termination of the conditional resident’s status would cause extreme hardship.

USCIS may schedule an interview on the joint petition or on the waiver application. If USCIS is convinced by the petition that the marriage was entered into in good faith and was not an attempt to commit immigration fraud, it may approve the petition without an interview. USCIS is more likely to schedule an interview for a waiver application than for a joint petition.

Failure to appear for the interview will result in loss of immigration status and may lead to removal proceedings.