Immigration Services
Chicago Removal of Conditions I-751 Attorney

Chicago Removal of Conditions I-751 Attorney

Sverdloff Law Group

Removal of Conditions I-751

When some people receive a green card, it is not the full permanent resident status that can last up to ten years. Instead, they receive a conditional green card because they have been married to a U.S. citizen for less than two years. Immigration authorities want to make sure that a marriage is bona fide before issuing a full green card.

When a conditional green card is coming close to its two-year expiration date, the holder must file a Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence, which is accomplished through immigration Form I-751. If you are in this situation and need to seek the removal of green card conditions, you should always seek assistance from a Chicago immigration attorney.

Why Would There be Conditions on Your Green Card?

When someone applies for a green card based on a short marriage to a United States citizen, they need to provide proof that it is a true marriage before USCIS will issue a full, ten-year green card. Even though your current green card is considered conditional, it still provides you with the rights and benefits that other permanent residents have. However, it is critical that you remain aware of when your green card will expire. This is because you must file your Form I-751 90 days before the expiration date. If you miss this timeline, you risk facing removal proceedings.

Removing Your Conditions

When you are reaching the time to file your Form I-751, both you and your spouse will need to work together to complete the petition to remove your conditions. There are a few exceptions to the joint filing requirement:

  • You already got divorced
  • Your spouse passed away
  • Your spouse engaged in extreme cruelty or abuse against you or your child

In these situations, you should discuss potentially getting the joint filing requirement waived with your immigration attorney.

With your petition, you will need to provide evidence of your bona fide marriage to USCIS. Such records and evidence can include your marriage certificate, photos or social media posts that support your marriage and life together, proof that you have joined your financial affairs, birth certificates of children you and your spouse had together, and more. An experienced immigration lawyer who has handled this type of petition will know the evidence that USCIS is looking for in this situation.

I-751 Interview Tips

USCIS might require you, your spouse, or both of you to undergo in-person interviews. This helps immigration officials better understand whether you have a legitimate marriage or not. Such interviews can cover many topics, including your personal histories, extended families, living arrangements, dates, how you met and how your relationship progressed, how you live as a married couple, and much more. Many people are intimidated by such interviews since the stakes are so high, but your lawyer can prepare you for what to expect, what to say, and what not to say. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  1. The most important thing you can do is to answer every question honestly. Always.
  2. If you don’t understand the question being asked, tell the immigration officer and ask them to repeat or rephrase it.
  3. Don’t guess at answers. When you don’t know something, simply say so.
  4. Focus only on answering the question asked, don’t go off-topic or change the subject.
  5. Carefully review your application before the interview. The information in your application will be used as the basis for most of the officer’s questions, so you will need to be familiar with it. Bringing a copy of your application with you, along with any supporting evidence, can be very helpful.
  6. If you find an error in your application, do not hide it or lie about it. Let the official know so it can be corrected.
  7. Your immigration lawyer may attend the interview with you, either in person or remotely. If your case is a complex one, having legal counsel is highly recommended.
  8. For a joint application, you and your spouse may be questioned together or separately – you should be prepared for both.
  9. The official will ask detailed questions about your personal lives, focusing on information that someone would only know if they were very close to you. This may include specifics about the dates you went on together or details of your wedding, information on your daily habits and living arrangements, or details about your home.
  10. If you have requested a waiver of joint filing because of abuse, divorce, or similar grounds, the official may ask questions about any shared addresses, incidents or examples of abuse, or what steps were taken to try to repair the marriage. Provide as much detail as you can on these topics.
  11. Be respectful. You should arrive early and dress nicely for the interview.

The exact questions that will be asked are not the same in each interview and cannot be predicted. The most important thing you can do is be honest and take time to prepare by reviewing the details of your application.

Contact a Chicago Immigration Attorney for Assistance Right Away

If you need assistance with a Form I-751 for the Removal of Conditions in the Chicago area, look no further than our immigration team at Sverdloff Law Group. Contact us to request your consultation today.

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