The I-751 Basics: Removing Conditions Placed Upon A Temporary Green Card

A conditional Green Card generally occurs during Marriage-Based Green Card processing, where a U.S. Citizen spouse petitions for a foreign-national spouse to reside permanently within the United States. The conditions are placed on the Green Card when the marriage between the spouses is less than two years old. The reason for this is because a new marriage may be fraudulently made for the purposes of receiving lawful permanent residence in the United States. The condition is for USCIS to have a second look at the underlying marriage and to re-determine whether validity or a true, bone fide marriage existed.

The condition is basically the filing of the I-751 USCIS Form upon the second anniversary of receiving the approved Green Card. Generally, USCIS will accept I-751 “Joint” filings within 90 days of the second anniversary of the Green Card approval, also described as 1 year and 9 months after receiving the Green Card.

However, the I-751 process becomes confusing if the spouses are no longer married, or “joint.” Instances of divorce would receive higher scrutiny and demand a more thorough showing that the marriage was entered in Good Faith. Additionally, a waiver of the I-751 joint filing requirement would be required. Similarly, instances of a dead spouse or where a spouse battered a spouse and child would also require a waiver of the I-751 joint filing requirement.

If you have any concerns, you should speak with a local Immigration Attorney, or you may call Fickey Martinez Law Firm, P.L.L.C. at (910) 526-0066 or email at

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