If you’re an alien who married a United States citizen within the last two years, you will be given a conditional residence while the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) closely examines your marriage to ensure its legitimacy prior to granting you permanent residence. This conditional residence will expire within two years, but you can fill out a USCIS Form I-751 in order to petition for permanent residence. The immigration attorneys at Berd & Klauss, PLLC have experience walking clients through the various steps related to filing a Form I-751.
The most important thing to remember is that a Form I-751 must be completed and submitted to the USCIS 90 days before your conditional residence is set to expire. In its simplest form, the I-751 is a joint petition filed by the alien and his or her spouse. However, there are certain situations in which you may need to file the petition on your own, as a marriage can incur many issues in two years. The Form I-751 includes boxes that show your marriage has ended for a specific reason, despite good faith.
Reasons for the dissolution of marriage on the Form I-751 include:
- Extreme Hardship: In order to qualify for this ground for waiver, you must prove that serious issues have arisen in your country of origin, and that returning would be detrimental to your well-being.
- Divorce: This is a straightforward and common ground, but the divorce must be finalized before you fill out the Form I-751 in this situation.
- Abuse or Cruelty: If you’ve been the victim of violence, or have been threatened with violence by your spouse that resulted in physical, emotional, or mental damage, you can file on this ground. However, you must adequately document the abuse in order to qualify.
Whether you file your petition alone or alongside your spouse, you are required to submit evidence of your marital relationship, such as joint bank statements. For more information the Form I-751 and citizenship laws, contact the immigration attorneys at Berd & Klauss, PLLC.