Typically, when an alien applies for green card status off of his US citizen spouse and that marriage is less than 2 years old, he or she will get a 2-year conditional green card. During that 2-year conditional period, the green card holder enjoys the benefits of permanent residency. However, the green card is made conditional upon continued existence of the marriage two years from the date the green card was issued. 90 days before the conditional period is up, the beneficiary of the green card and the petitioner jointly submit an I-751 form to remove the condition on the green card. However, if the green card holder was separated or received a divorced from his wife within those two years, then that person may need to file the I751 self-petition in order to stay in the US. This is an incredibly complex application and it most certainly will help to talk to an immigration lawyer in NYC.
What Does One Need To Show Make A Successful I-751 Application?
In order to file a successful self-petition, an individual must prove that a divorce with the former sponsoring spouse has been finalized and show that the marriage was entered into validly and not solely for the purpose of evading immigration laws.
Are There Special Considerations Given to Victims of Domestic Violence?
Yes. A victim of abuse can file a self-petition as a spouse who suffered physical and/or mental abuse by the U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse.
What Sort of Evidence May Help In A Self-Petition?
Evidence of the validity of the former marriage is key to the self-petition. The following may be helpful:
Tax returns filed jointly by the couple during that marriageProof of common assets, including propertyEvidence of common bank accountsBirth records of children of the former petitioner and beneficiary
What Happens After The Petition Is Filed?
Frequently, an applicant is given an interview,which serves as an opportunity to prove the legitimacy of the marriage. These interviews can be very challenging and consist of heavy questioning regarding the validity of the marriage, so one must be attorney is allowed in such interviews, and it is advisable to seek the services of a lawyer if your case is not straightforward.
What If My I-751 Is Denied?
If a I-751 petition is denied, the petitioner can challenge the decision before an immigration judge in a removal proceeding. At such a hearing, evidence can be presented and witnesses can be called. As these hearings are adversarial, it is highly advisable that the petitioner seek the services of a Appeals Attorney in NYC.