How do I file an I-751 waiver? I-751 Waiver for Death, Divorce, or Domestic Violence

Many know of the I-751 Petition to Remove the Conditions placed on a Temporary, Two-year Conditional Green Card as a USCIS filing that must be done by the original spouses for a Marriage-based Green Card Process. Generally, the “joint filing” must be filed within 90 days of the Conditional Green Cards expiration. However, a waiver of the I-751 is different. If one of the waiver options are met, the green card holder may file earlier or outside of the “90-day joint filing window.”

Please know that a lot of importance is placed on filing the I-751 prior to the expiration of the Conditional Greencard. Filing of the I-751 may still occur late, but dangers and consequences could result. Late filings of the I-751 should be handled by a local immigration attorney.

Assuming the filing is prior to the expiration date, waivers have one commonality. For each I-751 Waiver, the green card holder must prove that the underlying marriage was real, true, and bona fide. Evidence common to real marriages would have to be provided to USCIS.

In a waiver for the death of a spouse, evidence is usually readily available and many times the spouse left most or all of their belongings to the green card spouse. However, in instances of divorce and domestic violence, evidence of the past relationship are usually lost, destroyed, or left behind. Any evidence that can be safely retrieved should be. My rule of thumb is the more evidence, the better.

As a special note for divorce waivers, a divorce decree must be attached to the filing.  Separation is not enough to overcome the joint waiver requirement. There is no “Good Faith” waiver or “separation waiver.”

As a special note for the domestic violence waivers, police reports, medical evaluations, and/or psychological evaluations should be attached to the filing. Affidavits of the unfortunate situation and the underlying relationship are also beneficial. Additionally, waivers under this category utilize VAWA procedures for the safety and security of the Green Card Holder, which means the abusive spouse will be “locked-out” of damaging or further abusing the green card spouse. Domestic abuse waivers of the I-751 should be handled by a local immigration attorney.

If a green card holder does not fall within one of the waiver categories and cannot file jointly with the petitioned spouse, he or she should speak with a local Immigration attorney.

As a final note, if an I-751 is denied by USCIS or a green card holder fails to file, a NTA (notice to appear) in immigration court for deportation may be swiftly issued.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to call Fickey Martinez Law Firm at (910) 526-0066 or email us at

More Blog Posts

For more information, please check out our Blog Posts on the I-751 Process:


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