Marriage Green Card & I-751 2017-09-25T10:55:01+00:00

hand-in-marriage-1422245-mYou have met the love of your life and you want to take the next step.  You want your loved one to become a green card holder, so that he or she can stay with you in the United States, so that the two of you can spend the rest of  your lives together.  Contact the Law Office of Rachel Casseus at rachel@casseuslaw.com to get started on your foreign national spouses green card application.  It is very important that you contact an experienced attorney before you consider submitting your I-130 petition, especially if your foreign national spouse has past criminal convictions, unlawful presence, or other issues that you may not know about. Call Attorney Rachel Casseus now to start working on you or your loved ones’ Green Card through Marriage & I-751 Process.

Call Now 339-222-3434

smart-phone-icon-1377498-s

Experienced in Obtaining  Green Cards for her Clients: Attorney Casseus will help you analyze your foreign national loved ones’ eligibility for a green card. Schedule your free consultation today to speak with Attorney Casseus, an experienced green card and removal of conditions immigration attorney. She will counsel you and your family members to help you achieve the best outcome possible.

Here at The Law Office of Rachel Casseus, we believe in helping families stay together.  Because family is so important to us, we understand the value of these cases and work with you to consider all of your immigration options.

A foreign national can obtain his or her permanent residence based on his or her marriage to a United States Citizen.  If the marriage is less than two years old before the couple files an I-130 Petition, the alien spouse’s green card will only be valid for two (2) years. At the Law Office of Rachel Casseus, we compile all the information needed for the form I-130.  In addition to filing the 1-130, we will file the I-485 for adjustment of status, and we will file the I-765 for work authorization for the foreign national spouse.  The spouse will obtain an Employment Authorization Document within 90 days.

Requirements: To be eligible for a green card through marriage, you need to marry for love. U.S. Immigration calls this a good faith marriage.  USCIS will want to see that the couple has joint property and files joint income tax returns. If the marriage is less than two years old when the green card is granted, it will have a two-year time limit. The couple must submit form I-751 during the 90-day prior before the expiration of the green card in order for the foreign-born spouse to obtain a ten-year green card. If the couple divorces before the end of the two-year period, the foreign-born spouse must use form I-751 to apply for a “good faith marriage waiver” of the joint petition requirement.

Ninety (90) days before the expiration of the green card, the foreign national will file form I-751 to remove the conditions from their green card.  At the Law Office of Rachel Casseus, we pride ourselves in providing too much information to US Citizenship and Immigration Services, so that the reviewing officer has no choice but to approve the application.

Green Card Through Marriage & I-751 Q&A

Q: If I have been married for less than two years before my spouse applies for me to get a green card through marriage, do I get a full-green card?

A:  No, you will be granted a conditional green card meaning that you will have to fill out form I-751 to remove the conditions from your green card in order to be granted full permanent residence.

Q: How long is a permanent resident card valid for?

A: 10 years

Q: Should I wait to be married for two years before my spouse applies for me to get a green card?

A: The choice is up to you and your spouse.  Contact The Law Office of Rachel Casseus to schedule your free consultation.

Q: I want to marry a United States Citizen to stay in the country.

A: NEVER do this.  Marriage fraud is a crime punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment. The Law Office of Rachel Casseus cannot work with anyone who is seeking to obtain a green card based on a fraudulent marriage.

Q: What happens if my spouse and I become separated or divorced before the conditional residence ends?

A: File a waiver of the joint petition.  The Law Office of Rachel Casseus is here to assist you with filing your waiver of the joint petition.  You may qualify for a waiver if you are:

  1. An individual may obtain a waiver where the marriage was entered into in good faith, but has been terminated by a final divorce or annulment.
  2. An individual may obtain a waiver where the marriage was entered into in good faith, but during the marriage, the foreign national spouse or child was abused or subjected to extreme mental cruelty.
  3. An individual may obtain a waiver where an extreme hardship would result if the foreign national were removed.

Q: Can I file an I-751 after my conditional residence has ended?

A: Yes.  You may file your I-751 at anytime. The problem with doing this is that you will loose out on not having accrued time towards being eligible for filing for citizenship.

The regulations require the conditional permanent resident spouse to petition to have the conditions removed from his or her residency between one-year and nine-months and the end of the two-year validity period. A successful I-751 petition results in USCIS issuing you lawful permanent residency (LPR) without conditions.  As stated in the Q&A section, LPR card is valid for 10 years.

Sample United States Permanent Resident Card (Green Card)

Sample United States Permanent Resident Card (Green Card)

Joint filed I-751 Petitions

In the ideal world all couples would want to file the I-751 petition together.  The process is more straightforward when the foreign national’s marriage to the U.S. citizen (USC) is still in force, the petition to remove conditions (I-751) on residency is filed “jointly.” In order for the conditions to be removed, the petitioner must show U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) that the marriage was entered into in good faith based on love and the desire to be a married couple.  The couple will provide the following evidence demonstrating a shared life:

  1.  Tax documents showing jointly filed taxes.
  2. Lease or home mortgage/deed in both names
  3. Letters from friends and family attesting to the relationship
  4. Pictures of couple together with their families
  5. Cards written from one spouse to the other
  6. Any and all information showing that the couple was married in good faith and their intention to remain a married couple.

When removing the conditions from your green card becomes difficult, we are here to help you.  If you are dealing with separation and divorce, contact our office at rachel@casseuslaw.com to assist you in drafting your removal of conditions. If your marriage has resulted in divorce or separation, or you are filing a joint filing is after the expiration of your two-year conditional green card validity period, you will need to ensure that you provide USCIS with the necessary documents. We will help you do this.

WAIVERS OF THE JOINT PETITION REQUIREMENT

The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), is the supreme law from which all immigration policies and laws are based from.  The INA describes three different types of waivers of the joint filing requirement:

  1. An individual may obtain a waiver where the marriage was entered into in good faith, but has been terminated by a final divorce or annulment.
  2. An individual may obtain a waiver where the marriage was entered into in good faith, but during the marriage, the foreign national spouse or child was abused or subjected to extreme mental cruelty.
  3. An individual may obtain a waiver where an extreme hardship would result if the foreign national were removed.

If you qualify for more than one basis for a waiver as described in numbers 1-3 above, you may cite multiple bases for a waiver on one Form I-751, if he or she is independently eligible for each waiver. The Law Office of Rachel Casseus can assist you in situations where the petitioning and conditional resident spouse finalizes a divorce or annulment after a joint petition has been filed, but before the joint petition has been reviewed and finalized by USCIS. A petition for waiver of the joint filing requirement may be filed at anytime, and is not required to be filed within the 90-day window required for joint filers.  This means that the conditional resident may even file an I-751 waiver if USCIS has already terminated his or her status.

A conditional resident spouse and/or child can file a waiver of the I-751 joint petition requirement only after the marriage has been terminated through a judicial divorce or annulled. USCIS will require that the conditional spouse submit a certified copy of the judicial decree that terminates the marriage. This usually comes in the form of an certificate of absolute divorce.  Look up what the divorce decrees are called in each state.

Because immigration law is a federal system, The Law Office of Rachel Casseus can assist people in all 50 states who are seeking immigration assistance as it relates to United States Immigration law.

Battered or Subjected to Extreme Mental Cruelty: Did you or someone you know get married for love, but your spouse was abusive towards you or your children? Then you can qualify for a waiver.   To qualify for this waiver, it is necessary that you show that the qualifying marriage was entered into in good faith.

Under the abuse waiver, it is not required that you terminate your marriage through divorce or annulment.  This waiver does require that the conditional resident, or his or her child, was battered or subjected to extreme cruelty at some point during the course of the marriage. A resident may apply for the waiver if the conditional resident or the conditional resident’s child was abused by the US citizen spouse. Although rare, a child may also apply for the waiver based on the U.S. citizen spouse abusing him or her.

Extreme Hardship Waivers: Extreme Hardship is a vague concept in the world of Immigration. At the Law Office of Rachel Casseus, we specialize in assisting you provide evidence that your removal would result in extreme hardship to you or your family.  Unlike other immigration waivers that require a qualifying relative to feel the hardship, the I-751 waiver allows you to base the hardship on virtually anyone. Immigration law does require that the hardship would have had to arisen “only during the period that the alien was admitted for permanent residence on a conditional basis. INA §216(c)(4).

Many immigration practitioners would agree that this is hands down the most difficult I-751 waiver to obtain. However we  can assist you in obtaining a hardship waiver.

Filing I-751s After Conditional Residence Has Expired

An individual may file his or her I-751 application late, if the foreign national establishes good cause and extenuating circumstances for his or her failure to file the petition within the 90-day period. INA §216(d)(2)(B). The instructions for Form I-751 state that a conditional permanent resident (CPR) may file a petition untimely only if he or she includes a written explanation for his or her failure to timely file and a request that USCIS excuse the late filing.  The foreign national can be deported from the United States for this failure. The only way the failure can be excused is if the foreign national can demonstrate good cause and extenuating circumstances. Don’t leave it to chance when drafting your I-751 application late. At The Law Office of Rachel Casseus will work with you to carefully draft your written explanation for your failure to timely file your removal of conditions.

Don’t end up in removal proceedings for failure to provide an adequate explanation of your late filing! Schedule your free consultation to address how we can assist you in drafting your explanation.

 Immigration Services Officer (ISOs) are busy people. They well-versed in what a suitable written explanation of late filing should look like.  Because they have seen countless inadequate explanations of late filing, they have no problem denying the poorly explained explanations. The ISO will review the explanation for the untimely filing in relation to the length of time the application was untimely filed. He or she will also review any corroborating evidence that was submitted, to determine if the CPR established good cause for the late filing. If a I-751 petition is submitted without a written explanation for the late filing, the ISO will issue a Request for Evidence (RFE), requesting a reasonable explanation for the late filing and corroborating evidence. If the response to the RFE is inadequate, the ISO will set up an interview, if the late filing would benefit from a live interview.

It is important that foreign nationals ensure that they do not become “illegal” by falling out of status.  For the purposes of conditional residence, unlawful presence begins as of the date the conditional status expires.  If a late filing is accepted by USCIS or the immigration judge, and the foreign national is restored to LPR status, the foreign national will not be considered to have accrued any periods of unlawful presence in the United States. If the I-751 filing is not accepted, the period of unlawful presence is deemed to have commenced at the date that the foreign national’s status as a conditional permanent resident expired.

Resources

Form I-751 

Form I-751 Instructions