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Step-by-Step Instructions for Completing Form I-751
I-751 Instructions – Steps for Completing the Form
Having a green card offers numerous benefits. For this reason, some people who own a 2-year marriage-based green card wish to upgrade to a full 10-year one so they can become proper residents of the U.S. But how can that be done? We’ll get into the exact process in the paragraphs below.
What Is Form I-751?
Form I-751 is known as the “Petition to Remove Condition on Residence” and its purpose is to help an immigrant on a conditional, marriage-based green card to switch to a 10-year green card. This is something that usually has to be done – otherwise, the conditional green card will not be available two years later.
If you’ve been married for less than two years to a U.S. citizen or green card holder, then you were given a conditional green card. Filing out form I-751 with USCIS will help determine if you have genuine intentions and you didn’t just get married to a U.S. citizen in order to obtain the green card. If you’re still married at the time you are filing this petition, then you can do so in the following situations:
- You got genuinely married to your spouse, but the marriage was ended because of annulment or divorce
- You got married in good faith, but the significant other died in the meantime
- Terminating your status and removing you from the United States would put you through a lot of hardship
- Your conditional resident parent got into the marriage in good faith, but the parent’s U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse has been abusing you
- You got married to your spouse out of genuine love, bug you have been subjected to a lot of abuse by your significant other
But even if your marriage ended, you can still remove the conditions of your green card. In this scenario, though, besides explaining the situation, you must provide proof that your marriage was, again, genuine, and not your free ticket to the U.S.
General Instructions for Filling Out Form I-751?
When you wish to complete Form I-751, you can simply fill it in on your computer. It’s probably the easiest and best way to complete this petition. However, if you want to go with the other method, respectively printing it and filling it in by hand, you should write legibly and only use black ink. It’s very important to keep this in mind. When you sign the petition, make sure the signature is done by hand. You shouldn’t type your name or use a stamp in the signature space.
If you don’t have enough space to fit something, you will be able to write more text on Part 11, which has extra space specifically for information that doesn’t fit elsewhere. But if that’s not enough and even more space is necessary, you can take a separate piece of paper and attach it to the end of your form. That sheet of paper should have your name and Alien Registration number at the top. Also, you should indicate the page number, part number, and item number you are writing this extra information for. At the bottom of the page, add the date and signature.
It is possible for you to stumble upon a question that doesn’t apply to you on the form. For instance, question 13 from part 1 says “If the marriage through which you gained conditional residence has ended, provide the date it ended” but you may still be married. If that’s the case, then you should answer with “N/A” to questions like this. Conversely, if you have to answer with “zero” to a question, such as “How many children do you have?”, for instance, then you should write “None” instead.
Step-by-Step I-751 Instructions
Now let’s move to the more specific I-751 instructions.
Part 1, “Information About You, the Conditional Resident”
Part 1 is where you will bring some biographical information for a good part of it.
When you get to question 9, you will be asked if you have a USCIS Online Account Number. This is a number you have if you ever filed a petition, request, or application through the USCIS Electronic Immigration System, so it’s not the same as the Alien Registration Number. If you don’t have any, then leave this space empty.
At question 12, you’ll be asked for your “place” of marriage, and you will have to write the city, state (if in the U.S.), and country (if outside the U.S.) of marriage. Then, when you get to question 14, you will find the answer on your green card. It asks you when your conditional residence expires.
Question 18 asks whether you are in removal, rescission, or deportation proceedings. If you are, you should have a lawyer who helps you complete this part and the petition overall. Question 19 is where you can check “yes” if a fee was “paid to anyone other than an attorney in connection with this petition”. Keep in mind that you may be asked about this. If someone helped you prepare the petition, then they will have to provide information and sign part 10.
Then, for question 20, you will have to talk about your criminal activity. Make sure you talk to a lawyer if you don’t have the necessary legal knowledge for this.
Part 2. Biographic Information
In this part, you’ll be asked at question 1 whether you are Hispanic/Latino or not. The 2nd question is where you have to check as many boxes as apply to you.
Part 3. Basis for Petition
In case you are still married to a U.S. citizen and you’re cooperating for the process of applying for your permanent residency, put an “X” in Box 1.a. Do not check any other box then.
Part 4. Information About the U.S. Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident Spouse
This part has to be completed by the person who helped you obtain the U.S. conditional residence.
Part 5. Information About Your Children
You’ll have to fill in this part if you have children. Question 5 asks if each child is “applying with you”. If he/she is, then you have to check the “yes” box so the child doesn’t need his/her petition.
Part 6. Accommodations for Individuals with Disabilities and/or Impairments
In this part, you will have to explain whether you are asking for accommodation at your interview due to impairment or disability – for example, if you need a sign-language interpreter.
Part 7. Petitioner’s Statement, Contact Information, and Acknowledgment
You have to read all the important information before you sign. Write some accurate contact information in the event USCIS needs to follow up. Some questions ask about any potential interpreter who helped you prepare the petition, and if he/she was an attorney. These people will need to fill out their own section of the form. In the box containing the “Acknowledgement of Appointment at USCIS Application Support Center”, make sure to add your name.
Part 8. Spouse or Individual Listed in Part 4’s Statement, Contact Information, and Acknowledgment
Here, your immigrating spouse should sign, and write his/her name in the “Acknowledgement of Appointment at USCIS Application Support Center” section.
Parts 9 and 10
These parts are for the interpreter and the person who helped you fill out the form.
After Completing the I-751
When you’re done completing the joint petition, you should make a copy of the files, and send them together with the necessary documents to USCIS. You will find their address on the I-751 web page. Also, you should consider using a certified mail with return receipt, or courier service. If your application somehow gets lost, this will make it easier to find it and will prevent a penalization for filing late, since you’ll have proof you sent it.
- How Do I Speak to a Live Person at USCIS?
- How Many Citizenships Can You Have?
- How Do I Know Which USCIS Service Center?
- How Do I Know If USCIS Received My Application?
- What “Country of Residence” and How to Know Yours When on a Visa
- How to Check Dropbox Eligibility with the App
Now that you know what the I-751 instructions are, completing the petition shouldn’t be that difficult. Make sure you send it to the right address when it’s done, and that you pick the right method to send it.