How do I remove conditions (I-751) on my 2-year conditional Green Card?
First, check the expiration date on your 2-year conditional green card. You may not file Form I-751 to remove conditions until you are within 90 days of the green card’s expiration date. Both you and your spouse are Joint Petitioners of the application this time around. What this means is that both of you must sign and certify in the Form I-751 that you have still been living together in a genuine marital relationship since you first received the initial 2-year marriage-based green card. You will need to remember where you lived together for the past 2 years, the application will also allow you to include any new members of the family such as your new-born baby!
What info do I need to complete Form I-751?
You must complete Form I-751 which will ask for your biographic information and your residence history since you last applied. You will also be asked for your petitioning spouse’s biographic information as well as listing any children you have together. If you have many addresses to list, there is an addendum to the form where you can list the complete addresses and dates of the additional addresses. The form is relatively straight-forward to complete. However, an attorney who can review the form or prepare it on your behalf will ensure you check the correct eligibility category and make sure the application is done right the first time around.
What other documents do I need to prepare for the I-751?
The documents needed are similar to the joint documents you included in your I-485 application a few years ago. You will need to prove you and your spouse was living together for the past two years since you received your green card. These documents can include your lease agreement, jointly filed tax returns, joint bank statements, joint billing statements, joint insurance policies, photos together spanning the past 2 years. When including photos, it is a good idea to also include a caption for each photo that lists the date, event, and location. For example, 02/14/2019, Valentine’s Day Dinner at the Portland City Grill, in Portland, Oregon. Also, when including monthly statements, each statement should be provided from the time you received your initial green card to present time. You can also request letters of support from family or friends who can attest to their knowledge that you and your spouse have been in a legitimate marital relationship for the past two years.
What is the expected wait time for me to receive my 10-year unconditional green card?
Currently, the wait time for your green card to arrive can be 18 months time. In fact, after mailing out your initial I-751, the receipt notice will indicate that you have received an 18-month extension. During this time, you will be able to continue to work and travel as you would when you had your unexpired initial green card. However, the receipt notice for the I-751 acts as a substitute for your green card. The receipt notice automatically extends your permanent resident status as you await a final decision on the pending I-751. Therefore, you can show this original receipt notice to any prospective employer, or agency that needs to verify your lawful permanent resident status in the U.S.
Can I apply for U.S. citizenship if my I-751 is still pending?
Yes, you can! If your I-751 has been pending for a year, and you are still living together with your petitioning spouse, more likely than not, you will be eligible to apply for U.S. citizen based on marriage for at least three years as a permanent resident. However, you can apply even sooner through the 90-day rule which allows you to apply as soon as 2 years and 9 months from the date your green card was issued. This means that often times, while the I-751 is pending, you can prepare to file the form N-400 for citizenship. Once you are able to attend the citizenship interview, the officer will see that the I-751 is still pending and be able to adjudicate both applications at the same time. This will allow you to continue to process your applications despite the increased delays in I-751 petition processing.