By: Richard Hanus
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New Guidance Regarding Necessity of I-751 InterviewsPublished December 13, 2018
Foreign nationals married for less than two years at the time they enter the U.S. on their immigrant visas or are approved for adjustment of status to resident status (for those processing in the U.S. ) are generally issued a 2 year, conditional resident status. To convert their 2 year resident card to a permanent, renewable 10 year green card, the conditional resident is expected to file Form I-751 Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence in the 90 day period leading up to the card’s expiration. Such a filing typically involves the presentation of proof of the couple’s continued share residence and life together.
In practice, when a couple submits enough documentation confirming their shared life together – including during the 2 year conditional period, they have typically been relieved of any requirement to appear for an interview, and their filing will be approved based on the documentation submitted. In the past week , U.S. Department of Homeland Security/ Citizenship and Immigration Services’ headquarters issued a new guiding memo setting forth circumstances under which I-751 filings can be approved without interview of the parties.
I-751 filers include joint petitioners – where the petition is signed by both spouses because the marriage at issue remains intact – as well as petitioners proceeding on their own where the marital relationship dissolves for one reason or another during the 2 year conditional resident period.
For all Form I-751 petitions received on or after December 10, 2018, an interview of the petitioner(s) can be waived when:
1) The filing is supported by sufficient evidence of the bona fides or genuineness of the marriage,
2) US CIS previously interviewed the principal petitioner,
3) No evidence of fraud or misrepresentation is reflected in the I-751 petition or the supporting documentation AND
4) There are no complex facts or issues that need to be resolved by way of an in person interview.
PUBLISHED December 13, 2018– “IMMIGRATION LAW FORUM” Copyright © 2018, By Law Offices of Richard Hanus, Chicago, Illinois