How to prepare to remove the condition of your green card. I751 Joint Spousal Filing

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Usually when you obtain a green card based on marriage and you have been married to your spouse for less than two years, USCIS grants you a conditional green card for two years. Close to the expiration of your two year anniversary being a green card holder, both you and your spouse need to file an I-751 to remove the condition on your green card.

My green card is about to expire, how soon will I get the new one?

If you file the I751 within 90 days of the expiration of your green card, you will receive an automatic 18 month extension. You will receive a notice from USCIS stating that your green card holder status has automatically been extended for 18 months, the USCIS letter, together with your expired green card will serve as proof that you are still a green card holder and that your green card now expires three and a half years from the date it was issued.

Can I renew my drivers license and travel abroad while I wait for my  I751 approval?

Yes, the green card extension letter serves as proof of the extension of your expired green card, you can take it with you to the DMV to review your driver’s license, you can use it to travel internationally, or obtain employment in the U.S. Our airports recognize the letter as an extension of your green card and you should not have any problems coming in and out of the country while you wait for your new 10 year green card. USCIS updates your green card status extension update in their system as well and their system will show that your lawful permanent resident status has been extended.

How long will it take USCIS to process my I751?

The I-751 process is very slow, that is the reason why USCIS issues an automatic 18 month extension letter, Although it typically takes about one to two years, USCIS estimated time is 2 to 4 years. 

What if my green card extension expires before my I751 is processed?

That is no problem, if your extension expires before the removal of the condition is processed, USCIS can do one of the following:

  • Stamp a one year extension in your valid and unexpired passport;
  • Place a one year extension sticker in your expired green card;

This USCIS extension while you wait for USCIS to process your I751 petition will serve you to renew your drivers license, travel internationally, obtain employment and pretty much prove that your green card holder status is still valid.

What is USCIS looking for in order to remove the condition on my green card?

USCIS is looking for evidence that you and your spouse have been  sharing a life together as husband and wife for the past two years and that your marriage was entered into because you love one another and not for the sole purpose of obtaining an immigration benefit.

How do I show that I am in a loving marriage, what kind of evidence do I need to show?

The following list can serve as sample items and documents  to show that you and your spouse are sharing a life together in a loving relationship. After being a lawful permanent resident for almost two years, you and your spouse should have some or most of the items listed below:

  • Joint lease agreement, showing you both as tenants of the place you live; 
  • If you own a property together, mortgage documents;
  • Evidence of car insurance or registered vehicle under both names;
  • Drivers license or identification cards showing the same home address for both spouses;
  • Telephone bill, showing that you and your spouse have a family phone plan, or that your spouse is listed as an authorized user of the account;
  • Bank accounts held jointly;
  • Credit card statements of accounts held together, or showing that your spouse has been added as an authorized user;
  • Documents showing that you and your spouse have a loan together;
  • Income tax return documents showing that you and your spouse filed taxes together;
  • Travel itinerary or plane tickets of vacations or trips taken together;
  • Birth certificates of children born to the marriage or Doctor’s documents to prove that there is a pregnancy;
  • Utility bills like electricity, gas, water, internet services;
  • Evidence of any benefits at work where you have your spouse listed as a beneficiary, like a life insurance policy, a 401K plan, medical insurance plan;

What happens if I don’t have enough evidence?

If you don’t have enough evidence of you and your spouse sharing a life together. Your application may take longer to be approved, you may receive a request for more evidence from USCIS which will allow you time to produce the additional evidence and if the evidence is not submitted, they may require you and your spouse to attend a USCIS interview in order to be able to approve your 10-year green card. 

Will I have to attend an interview for my I751 application? 

Although there is an interview scheduled in order to adjudicate your I751 application, this interview can be waived if you submit your application with enough evidence that you and your spouse are sharing a life together  for USCIS to make a determination based on the evidence submitted. 

What can happen if USCIS denies my application?

If USCIS denies your application, most likely they will put you  in deportation proceedings. 

Please contact our office to schedule a consultation with our immigration attorney to discuss your specific case, you can contact us at (919) 900-6610, we will be happy to help you with the process. 

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