If you are a foreigner that married a U.S citizen, and you applied for the Green Card when your marriage was less than two years old, you may know that your residence status has an expiration date. The expiration date, also known as a condition, is meant to discourage so-called ‘Green Card marriages’. However, if your marriage has crossed the two-year line, you can eliminate these conditions by filing Form I-751.
How to file for Form I-751
To remove your conditions, you need to file the form jointly with your spouse. You can do it without them only if:
- They died after the marriage
- You got divorced but entered the marriage in good faith
- You are or were abused by your U.S spouse (or U.S parent if you are filing the form for your kids as well)
- The termination of your residency status will result in extreme hardship
The U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services will require you to submit some documents when you file the form. The most important documents are the copies of records and statements that prove you entered the marriage in good faith. Evidence of the relationship include:
- Your children’s birth certificates
- Lease or mortgage contracts that show that you live (or lived) with your spouse
- Financial records that show joint ownership of assets, such as insurance policies, mutual savings and joint Federal and State tax returns
- Affidavits of at least two people who have known you and your spouse since you got married
- Other documents that could prove your marriage status, such as divorce decrees, death certificates or police records
In addition to these documents there are various filing fees that you will need to pay to remove your conditions.
Act before the condition expiration date
You need to file this form within 90 days before your residence expires. If you don´t do this during this period, you will lose your residence automatically, and you will have to leave the United States. At that point, returning to see your family here becomes much more difficult.