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What Is Form I-751?2023-01-18T12:43:29-05:00
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What Is Form I-751?

If you obtain a green card through marriage and you were married for less than 2 years, your green card will say “CR-1”. This means you are a “conditional permanent resident” and your green card is only valid for 2 years.

Before the two year green card expires, you will need to file Form I-751. The longer name for this is Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence. If your Form I-751 is accepted, you will receive a green card which is valid for 10 years. The 10 year green card can be renewed indefinitely.

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is basically just checking in on you and your spouse to see if your marriage is real. USCIS wants to be sure that you got married in what they call “good faith”. This means, you did not marry only to obtain a green card.

Form I-751 may require several documents. According to USCIS, if you submit a document with information in a foreign language, you must also submit an English translation.To guarantee that your I-751 is processed as quickly as possible, it helps to use a certified translator. Some documents people usually need are these:

You can order a certified translation of these documents from our online store:

Order Your Certified Translation

In this guide we will cover these questions:

Do I Need To File Form I-751?

You need to file Form I-751 if your green card only provides “conditional permanent residence”. You probably have a conditional green card if you were married for less than 2 years when you applied for your green card.

If your green card falls in this category it will say “Category: CR1”. If you are still unsure, you can also read the expiration date and see if it is within 2 years of when you received it.

The “petitioning spouse”, is the person who is already a U.S. citizen or green card holder. Usually, both the petitioning spouse and person immigrating to the U.S. should file Form I-751 jointly. You might also be able to file Form I-751 without your spouse.

What If My Marriage Has Ended?

Usually you should file Form I-751 “jointly” with your spouse. However, you may have to file as an individual if your marriage was terminated. If you were married in good faith, but your marriage ended in less than 2 years, you might still be able to file Form I-751. You can still get a 10 year green card if one of these 5 situations applies to you:

  • You were married but your spouse died.
  • You were married in good faith, but your marriage was annulled or you got divorced. (In this case you will need to provide evidence that your relationship was genuine when you were first married.)
  • You were married but you have been battered or subjected to extreme cruelty by your spouse.
  • You are the child of a conditional resident who was married, but you have been battered or subject to extreme cruelty by your parent or their spouse.
  • Losing permanent residence status and being removed from the United States would result in extreme hardship.

When Should I File Form I-751?

When you should file Form I-751 depends on if you are filing jointly with your spouse, or if you are filing as an individual.

Filing jointly

When you file jointly with your spouse who is a U.S. citizen or green card holder, you should file within the 90 days before your conditional green card expires. For example, if your green card expires on December 31st, you may file form I-751 on or after October 2nd. It is good to file on the earliest day possible. Usually, you cannot file after your green card expires.

Filing as an individual

If you are filing by yourself, you can file at any time after you receive your conditional green card. This is what you should do if your marriage ended for any of the reasons listed in the previous section. Some examples of reasons why your marriage might end are if your spouse died after you were married, or if your spouse has been physically abusive.

If your 2 year green card has already expired

If you did not file on time, but it was not your fault, you can try to file form I-751. However, you have to explain why you did not file on time in writing. You will need to prove that the situation was out of your control. The USCIS may accept your petition if the amount of time that you are late is reasonably short.

How Should I Fill Out Form I-751?

Form I-751 has to be printed out. You can fill in the answers on a computer and then print the form out. Or, you can print the form and then answer in black ink. The actual PDF document is available online.

After you’ve completed the form, you should physically mail it to USCIS. The address that you should mail your form to, depends on which state you live in. USCIS lists exactly which address should be used by each state.

Form I-751 is divided into separate parts. The parts are numbered Part 1 – Part 11. We will go over each part below.

Part 1 – Information About You:

This part requires any names you have used, your address, marital status and some other information.

  • Alien Registration Number: or “A-Number”. This is a 9 digit number that is listed on your green card where it says “USCIS#”.
  • USCIS Online Account Number: This is a 12 digit number that you can find by logging into your USCIS online account. You may not have a USCIS online account number yet if you have not made an account online, and that is ok.
  • Physical Address vs. Mailing Address: The form allows you to include two different addresses if you get mail at an address that’s different from where you live. One is called your “mailing address” and the other is called your “physical address”.

Part 2 – Biographic Information:

This part asks for your ethnicity, race, height, weight, eye color and hair color.

Part 3 – Basis for Petition:

This part requires information about the marriage that makes you eligible for a green card, or allows you to explain why you are no longer married.

If you are filing jointly with your spouse, you will check the box which reads “my spouse”.

If you cannot file jointly you will check the box that describes why you are no longer married. Reasons might include the death of your spouse, if your spouse was abusive, or simply divorce.

Part 4 – Information About Your Spouse and Family:

Here you will give information about your spouse who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. You will have to give your spouse’s name, date of birth and other information.

Part 5 – Information About Your Children:

For each of your children you will provide their names, date of birth and alien registration number (if they have one). You will also indicate if they are applying with you, and if they are living with you.

Part 6 – Accommodations for Individuals With Disabilities and/or Impairments:

Here you will inform USCIS if you, or your spouse have disabilities or impairments. If you need accommodations because of these disabilities or impairments, you will request them here. Some common disabilities or impairments are blindness and deafness. This section allows you to explain if you have another type of disability or impairment.

Part 7 & Part 8 – Petitioner and Spouse Acknowledgements and Signatures:

These sections are almost exactly the same. Part 7 is for the petitioning spouse who wants a green card. Part 8 is for the spouse who is a U.S. citizen or green card holder.

In these parts you will both indicate whether or not you can read English, or if you have used an interpreter. Then you will both certify that the information you have given is true by signing your names.

Part 9 & Part 10 – Interpreter and Preparer Acknowledgements and Signatures:

If you had the help of an interpreter, or a lawyer, or any person, they will give their information in these parts. They will also need to provide their signature. This certifies that the information they have given is true.

What Documents Do I Need To Provide With Form I-751?

The documents you need to provide depend on your situation. These documents include but are not limited to:

If you are still married:

  • A copy, front and back of your current permanent resident card. If you are including your children on your Form I-751, include copies front and back of their permanent resident cards, or alien registration cards.
  • Various documents which prove that your marriage was authentic when you were married. You can include any documents you believe will prove that your marriage is real. These could include, but are not limited to:

If you are not still married:

  • If you are filing as an individual because your spouse died, include a copy of their death certificate. You should also include information that your marriage was authentic.
  • If you are filing as an individual because your marriage ended, include a copy of your divorce certificate or annulment papers. You should also include information that your marriage was authentic.
  • If you are filing as an individual because you or your children were abused, include evidence of the abuse such as medical records or police reports. You should also include your divorce papers if you were divorced because of abuse.
  • If you are filing as an individual because losing permanent residence status and being removed from the United States would result in extreme hardship, include evidence of this.

If your 2 year green card has already expired:

  • Explain why you did not file on time in writing. You will need to prove that the situation was out of your control.

If you have a criminal history:

If you are filing from another country because of the military:

  • Include two passport style photos for each petitioner and dependent. The photos must be in color, 2”x2”, on offwhite or white background, on thin paper with a glossy finish.
  • Two fingerprint cards (Form FD-258) for each petitioner and dependent from 14 to 79 years old. The A-Number of each person should be on the fingerprint card.

Should My Documents Be Translated Into English?

Yes, according to USCIS, if you submit a document with information in a foreign language, you must also submit an English translation.To guarantee that your I-751 is processed as quickly as possible, it helps to use a certified translator.

You can order a certified translation of these documents from our online store:

Order Your Certified Translation

How Much Does Form I-751 Cost?

The total cost for Form I-751 will be $680.

This is a combination of two fees.

  • Filing Fee = $595
  • biometric services fee = $85

Each dependent that is included on your application will also require an additional biometric services fee of $85. This means any children you included in part 5 of Form I-751.

You can pay these fees by check or money order which are payable to “U.S. Department of Homeland Security.”

If you want to pay by credit card, you can us a USCIS lockbox and you should fill out Form G-1450.

What If I Cannot Afford The Fee?

If you cannot afford the fee, you can try to have the fee waived by filing Form I-912. You will need to provide any evidence that you cannot afford the fees.

How Long Does Form I-751 Take To Process?

The current average processing time for Form I-751 is around 17 months according to USCIS processing times.

However, this is an average of every Form I-751 that is filed. Depending on where you live, it may be faster. USCIS provides a processing time calculator that gives a more accurate estimate.

What If My I-751 Isn’t Processed In Time?

After you file Form I-751, you will receive Form I-797C from USCIS. This acknowledges that they received your form. From then on, you can present your green card and Form I-797 together to prove you are still a resident. This will allow you to stay in the U.S. for 18 more months.

If your Form I-751 is still not processed in those 18 months, it’s ok. Your green card will remain valid until your Form I-751 is accepted or denied, no matter how long it takes. You can contact USCIS and request an extension stamp in your passport.

What Happens After USCIS Receives My I-751 Petition?

The first thing USCIS will do is look over your petition to see if it is complete. If they decide it is not complete, they might request more information from you. They also may ask for original copies of things like marriage certificates, birth certificates, etc… If they do ask for originals, they will return them.

After reviewing your application, USCIS will schedule a Biometric Services Appointment with you.

USCIS may also request another interview with you if they need to gather more information.

After all of this, USCIS will notify you of the decision in writing if your I-751 petition is approved or denied.

Does My Time As a Conditional Resident Count Towards Citizenship?

Usually, the time that you have a conditional green card counts towards your U.S. citizenship, if your I-751 is approved.

How Can I Check The Status of My I-751 Petition?

You can check the status of your petition online. You may need any information such as your A-number or I-797C receipt number.

You can also call USCIS at 800-375-5283 between 8am and 8pm EST. You will also need your receipt number for this.

What If My I-751 Petition Is Taking Too Long?

If you believe your I-751 petition is taking longer than normal to process, you can submit an e-Request using an online form. To submit your e-Request you will need to give the following information:

  • Receipt number.
  • Alien Registration Number or “A-Number”.
  • Date you filed Form I-751.
  • The Application you filed.
  • Your email address.

What If My I-751 Petition Is Denied?

There are several reasons why your I-751 petition might be denied. Some of those possible reasons are as follows:

  • If USCIS decides that your marriage is not authentic. In this case, USCIS would believe you were only married to get around immigration laws.
  • The person petitioning for a removal of conditions did not attend their interview.
  • The petition was not filed at the correct time.
  • If your application has any false information.

If your petition is denied USCIS will issue you a Notice To Appear (NTA). This is the first thing USCIS will do to have a person removed from the U.S. This is a document that instructs a person to appear before an immigration judge.

If you want to contest the disapproval of your petition, you have to file a new I-751. However, you have to file your new I-751 on a new basis. An example might be if it was decided that your marriage was not authentic, but you were being abused by your spouse. You would submit a new I-751 along with evidence.

After filing your new I-751 petition, you can file a motion to end USCIS’ proceedings to remove you from the U.S.

Should I Write a Cover Letter With My I-751 Petition?

A cover letter is a letter that you would write to help explain anything about your petition that might seem unordinary. It is ok to write a cover letter if you feel like it would help convince USCIS to approve your petition.

If you can think of any reason that USCIS might be inclined to deny your case, a cover letter can help you explain why they should still approve your petition.

For example, if you and your spouse don’t share a bank account, or a mortgage, you can explain to USCIS why.

If you want to have help from a third-party to write the letter, you can. You just need to make sure that your cover letter is succinct, and all the information in the letter is consistent with the information in your petition.

Why Was My I-751 Transferred To Another Office?

Sometimes USCIS is simply overwhelmed by the number of petitions and other forms they are processing from around the United States. If there is an office that is less busy, then your application might have been sent there for faster processing.

It is always important to do your own research. Check the USCIS website and the National Visa Center website to see if you are eligible to file a green card application. U.S. Language Services LLC is not a law firm and does not provide legal advice. As a result, it is not a substitute for legal counsel. If you need assistance submitting your paperwork, please seek out the advice of a lawyer.

U.S. Language Services LLC is not affiliated with or endorsed by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) or any other agency of the United States government.

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