Having I751 Waiver Assistance on your side can be crucial. USCIS issues RFE’s on about 80 – 90% of the cases filed.
To file for a waiver, you must have evidence of a bona fide marriage or extreme hardship. This could include proof of abuse such as pictures of injuries, statements from third parties, and journal entries.
What is an I751 Waiver?
If you became a conditional permanent resident through marriage, your status expires in two years and you’re required to file a joint petition with the spouse through whom you gained your status. If your spouse dies before the 2-year period is up, or you can’t file a joint petition due to circumstances beyond your control, you can request a waiver of the requirement to file jointly with USCIS.
To qualify for the good faith marriage waiver you’ll need to submit proof that your marriage was genuine and continued after your conditional residency began, such as copies of your wedding and divorce certificate; evidence of shared finances or property, like mortgage documents or bank statements; photographs of you and your spouse together throughout your relationship; voided checks showing you lived together; and sworn affidavits from friends about your relationship.
For the domestic abuse waiver, you’ll need more extensive documentation including police reports, medical evaluations, and psychological or emotional assessments. In addition, you’ll need to provide sworn affidavits detailing your unfortunate situation and explaining why terminating your residency and removal from the United States would cause extreme hardship.
How do I get an I751 Waiver?
In most cases, a green card holder can file an I-751 form to remove the conditions on their residence with the spouse who helped them gain conditional residency. However, in some cases the marriage ends before the two year anniversary is up or the U.S citizen spouse is unable or unwilling to file the petition with the green card holder.
To successfully submit a waiver, a petitioner will need to include evidence to prove that their marriage was bona fide and that they entered it in good faith, as well as proof that the U.S. citizen spouse abandoned them, committed adultery, or otherwise contributed to the breakdown of the marriage and refuses to file for removal of the conditions with the green card holder. This may include copies of the front and back of their current green card; documents that show that they continue to live together such as mortgage or lease records; voided checks; family photographs; sworn affidavits from friends; and more.
How do I know if I’m eligible for an I751 Waiver?
USCIS reviews every I-751 petition carefully before giving it final approval. If the agency feels you did not enter into your marriage in good faith, or that you and your US citizen spouse abused each other, it may refuse to waive the conditional residence requirement or issue a request for more information, called a Request for Evidence (RFE).
RFEs occur in about 80 – 90% of all I-751 cases filed. The best way to avoid an RFE is to provide as much documentation as possible that demonstrates your marriage was genuine. This can include mortgage or lease documents; evidence of joint financial accounts; sworn statements from family and friends; voided checks; photographs of you and your sponsoring spouse; medical, police, or court records establishing that you were battered or subjected to extreme cruelty; and many other types of documentation.
If your sponsorship spouse dies before your two years of conditional permanent residency are up, you can still file a waiver on the grounds that you entered into your marriage in good faith. The USCIS review process will be slightly different in this case, as you are not able to submit a joint petition with your deceased spouse.
What happens if I’m denied an I751 Waiver?
If USCIS denies your i-751 petition due to their belief that you didn’t enter into a bona fide marriage, the next step is to file a new I-751 with a waiver. If you can convince the Immigration Judge that you entered into a bona fide marriage and that it was violated by your abusive spouse, and prove that you would suffer extreme hardship if forced to return home, the Judge might grant you permanent resident status.
If your I-751 is denied, you will receive a notice of denial from USCIS and will also be placed into removal proceedings (deportation). However, you have much better chances of convincing the Immigration Judge to reverse the original denial of your I-751 waiver petition than you do with a denial of your joint i-751. The reason for this is that the adjudicator’s decision on your waiver petition is discretionary, whereas the adjudicator’s decision on the joint i-751 is mandatory.