Jointly Filed I-751 Can Be Converted to an I-751 Waiver

I got married in September of 2006. On May 31, 2007, I got a two-year conditional green card. In March of 2009, I applied to remove the conditions from my green card. In July of 2009, I had an interview based on the I-751.

It is now December 2009 and the case is still pending. My wife and I are having some very deep misgivings about our future and we are thinking about getting a divorce. It looks like we will get a divorce at the beginning of 2010.

How will the divorce affect my case [I-751] and what kind of steps should I take after the divorce to stay in the country legally?

Thank you.
— Anonymous

You are welcome.

It appears that you jointly filed the Form I-751 petition to remove conditions on your lawful permanent resident status because you were married to your wife at the time it was filed.

There may be several reasons why your case is still pending, such as a pending criminal background check, the officer is awaiting receipt of the alien file from another USCIS office, or the officer is requiring additional proof of the validity of the marriage and has not yet sent you a notice requesting it.

You may want to go to the local USCIS Field Office for an INFOPASS appointment to inquire into the status of your case. You may make an INFOPASS appointment at www.uscis.gov and click on the link for making an INFOPASS appointment.

According to an April 2009 USCIS memoranda, when you are divorced, you may request the immigration officer to amend the joint petition to indicate that you are now eligible for a waiver of the joint filing requirement due to the termination of the marriage.

You will have to submit a certified copy of the divorce decree. This is important because the immigration officer may not approve a jointly filed I-751 petition after a marriage has been legally terminated. It may be wise for you to consult with an immigration attorney with experience in I-751 petitions before filing anything with USCIS.

Michael Shane and Evan Shane, Immigration Attorneys

Last Updated June 23, 2020