I-751 Attorney Fee: Everything You Need to Know

Updated on April 10, 2024

At a Glance

  • The Form I-751, “Petition to Remove Conditions of Residence,” is filed with the USCIS to remove conditions on a green card obtained through marriage to a U.S. citizen.
  • It is used to request permanent resident status after the initial two-year conditional residency period.
  • The form requires supporting documents, such as proof of a bona fide marriage or evidence for a waiver of the joint filing requirement.
  • Hiring an immigration attorney to assist with the process is recommended, with fees ranging from $700 to $1600.

Applying for the removal of the conditions of your residence is a crucial step in becoming a permanent resident of the U.S. There are costs involved which you should be aware of and plan for. Preparing for the process can also help to ensure that it runs smoothly.

Below we provide a short summary of the Form I-751 and the required supporting documents. We also set out the costs you can expect to pay in your application process and throw in a few tips that will help you in the process.

What is an I-751 Form?

The Form I-751 is knowns as the “Petition to Remove Conditions of Residence.” Conditional residence is granted when applying for a green card and an Adjustment of Status by using the Form I-485. Conditional Residence is granted to those visa holders who are living in the U.S based on their own or their parent’s marriage to a U.S citizen.

Conditional residence only lasts two years. When you are nearing this two year period, the Form I-751 is filed with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to request that the conditions on your residence be removed so that you will be classified as a permanent resident.

If you choose to fill out your Form I-751 on your own without the help of an attorney (see below), you can find guidance on this page.

The USCIS requires certain documentation to support your application. Most documents are quite straightforward but consider carefully which documents will support your application best.

Documents to Support your Form I-751

The USCIS requires the following documents to be submitted with your Form I-751 in English:

  • A copy of your green card (also known as alien registration card) which needs to be copied front and back
  • Proof of a good faith marriage (see below)
  • Documents supporting your request for a waiver of the joint filing requirement, if applicable (see below)
  • The court order granting your name change (if applicable)
  • Documents relating to your criminal or drug history (if applicable) – make sure you get help from an attorney if this is applicable as this can lead to denial of permanent residence.

Good Faith Marriage

The USCIS wants to know that the marriage that your green card is based on is real. Unfortunately, marriage fraud is a common way to get a green card, so you’ll have to prove a “bona fide” marriage along with filing your Form I-751.

The USCIS recommends using the below documents (those that are relevant), covering the two year period of your conditional residency, as proof:

  • Copies of your children’s birth certificates (this is a very strong form of evidence)
  • Documents showing joint ownership of assets
  • Documents showing joint debts and liabilities
  • Lease agreements or home mortgages from places you have rented or owned together
  • Affidavits from two people, who know both you and your spouse personally, affirming that the marriage is a real thing. These affidavits must document how they know you and how they are able to speak about the validity of the marriage.
  • Any other documents that might support your case

Requesting a Waiver of the Joint Filing Requirement

You can seek a waiver of the joint filing requirement if you are unable to file your Form I-751 jointly with your U.S citizen spouse or parent. This would be due to death, divorce, abuse or other applicable circumstances.

The following documents (whichever is applicable) will have to be submitted together with your waiver request:

  • A copy of the death certificate
  • A copy of the divorce certificate
  • Proof of abuse or cruelty such as police reports, medical reports, social worker reports, photographs of injuries etc.
  • Documentation of the reason you are filing your application separately from your parent’s application
  • Evidence proving that you will undergo “extreme hardship” if you are removed from the U.S if that is your reason for your application of the waiver. You’ll have to prove the type of hardship and why this would be any worse than what any other immigrant would face if they were removed after having spent time in the U.S

If you are applying for the waiver it will be a good idea to use the help of an attorney to prepare these documents. The attorney will make sure all the requirements are fulfilled so that your case is not unnecessarily delayed or denied.

I-751 Fee: What is the I-751 Filing Fee?

The I-751 filing fee is the fee you have to pay the USCIS when you submit the form I-751.

The filing fee is updated from time to time so it will be a good idea to check the latest fees on the I-751 page. As of 2018, the I-751 filing fee is $595 plus the required biometric fee of $85.

I-751 Fees: What is the I-751 Attorney Fee?

As the USCIS is on the lookout for fraudulent marriages and will be very strict in assessing your application, it is a good idea to make use of an immigration attorney to help you prepare your Form I-751. This will help to avoid unnecessary issues and possible denial.

As the USCIS is on the lookout for fraudulent marriages and will be very strict in assessing your application, it is a good idea to make use of an immigration attorney to help you prepare your Form I-751. This will help to avoid unnecessary issues and possible denial.

Most attorneys will charge a flat fee for preparing your form I-751. The fees for this process range from $700to $1600. The flat fee is definitely a perk if you have a complicated case that requires a lot of detailed documentation.

Some attorneys offer the option of time-based fees. This can save you money if you prepare the application yourself and simply have the attorney review it. Keep in mind that the hours can add up quite quickly if you made a lot of errors that have to be adjusted.

If you are worried that you cannot afford an immigration attorney, consider your loan options. Stilt provides loans specifically to immigrants and foreign students that can be used to help you pay for your filing fee and attorney fee.

How to Find an I-751 Lawyer

It will be a good idea to do your homework before you choose an attorney to help you with your removal of conditions of residence. Do a proper comparison of available attorneys by looking up attorneys in your area, asking them for their fees and perhaps going for a first consultation. The first consultation is sometimes free or can cost around $100. It might even be a good idea to look up reviews online about attorneys you are considering using.

Here are some tips for choosing the right attorney. You can find most attorneys in your area online by doing a simple Google search.

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Your application for the removal of conditions of residence can be smooth sailing if you get the right advice and have the financial means. Don’t let the cost of the extra help stop you from making sure you approach the form I-751 the right way and risk the denial of permanent residence in the U.S.

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Frank Gogol

I’m a firm believer that information is the key to financial freedom. On the Stilt Blog, I write about the complex topics — like finance, immigration, and technology — to help immigrants make the most of their lives in the U.S. Our content and brand have been featured in Forbes, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, and more.

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