It is no secret that the immigration process can be challenging to navigate, particularly if you have conditions on your residency status, such as a two year expiration date with no options for renewal on your green card. This can create a real sense of urgency with no real idea of what to do about it. If you are a conditional permanent resident, you may have received your status through marriage. Generally, if your marriage is less than two years old on the day that you become a permanent resident, you will be issued a conditional permanent residency status. This conditional period is intended to ensure that your marriage is legitimate, and was not entered into merely for the purpose of obtaining a green card. If you are a conditional permanent resident who received status through marriage, you may be ready to have those conditions dropped. How do you go about doing that? By completing an 1-751 form. Once this form is completed, you may be required to complete an interview. We will discuss more about the situations in which an interview may be required and what to expect below.
After you submit your I-751 form, you (the conditional resident) and your spouse should expect to attend an interview together in person. However, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) does have the option to waive the in-person interview requirement in some cases. You should never assume that this interview will be waived, as it is a requirement across the board, but USCIS does have the discretion to waive the requirement in certain circumstances.
The purpose of the I-751 interview is to determine whether the marriage of the conditional resident is bona fide, or, in other words, real. Many people see marriage to a U.S. citizen or permanent resident as a potentially quick and easy way to gain citizenship, so USCIS must be extra careful in examining the validity of applicant marriages. For this reason, all conditional resident applicants are required to be interviewed except where the USCIS application examiner decides to waive the requirement.
While the interview requirement can only be waived at the discretion of the USCIS official reviewing your application, there is a lot that you can do to maximize your chances of receiving such a waiver. First and foremost, the best thing you can do is to submit a very strong I-751 application with plenty of evidence to demonstrate that your marriage is real, bona fide, and was not entered into purely for the purposes of citizenship. If you only include a marriage certificate as proof of evidence in your application, you will surely be required to attend an interview. Including things such as evidence of shared property, joint checking accounts, shared children, and shared health insurance or insurance policies, all help to establish that you and your spouse are genuinely working to consolidate your lives and build one together here in the states. In this situation, there would be little left to gain from an interview, and it may very well be waived.
If you are in need of assistance applying for an adjustment in status or with any immigration matter, our law firm can help. Contact the experienced immigration lawyers at Sverdloff Law Group to schedule a consultation today.