Form I-751 Instructions

Form I-751 Instructions

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Last updated: April 4, 2024.

What is Form I-751 used for?

  • Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence, is an immigration form used by conditional permanent residents 
  • The purpose of the form is requesting the removal of the conditions on their permanent resident status
  • When someone obtains a green card through marriage to a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, they are initially granted conditional permanent resident status
  • This conditional status is valid for 2 years
  • Form I-751 must be filed during the 90-day period before the conditional green card’s expiration date
  • The petition is typically filed jointly by the conditional permanent resident and their U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse
  • By filing jointly, the couple affirms that their marriage is genuine and was not entered into for immigration fraud
  • However, there are certain situations in which the conditional permanent resident may be eligible to file the petition alone, such as in cases of divorce, annulment, the death of the spouse, or instances of spousal abuse

Who should file I-751?

  • Form I-751 should be filed by conditional permanent residents who obtained their green card through marriage to a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • Conditional residents are initially granted a green card that is valid for 2 years only

Form I-751 requirements

Form I-751 requirements include:

  • Timing of Filing:
      • The form should be filed during the 90-day period before the conditional resident status expires
      • Filing too early or too late could result in a denial and further deportation from the U.S.
  • Eligibility Criteria:
      • You are eligible to file Form I-751 if:
        • You are still married to the same U.S. citizen or permanent resident through whom you obtained conditional resident status and filing Form I-751 jointly
        • Your U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse has died
        • You entered the marriage in good faith, but the marriage ended in divorce or annulment
        • You entered the marriage in good faith, but you have been battered or subject to extreme cruelty by your petitioning spouse
        • Termination of your status and deportation would result in extreme hardship
  • Joint Filing:
  • Documentation:
    • Include evidence that the marriage was entered in good faith, such as documents demonstrating joint financial responsibilities, joint ownership of property, and proof of a life together
    • Provide documentation proving the ongoing relationship and the authenticity of the marriage

What are the steps for Form I-751?

The general steps for filing Form I-751 include:

Eligibility Check:

  • Ensure that you are eligible to file Form I-751
  • Form I-751 is filed jointly by both spouses, but there are exceptions, such as divorce, death of a spouse, or cases of domestic violence

Timing:

  • File the petition during the 90-day period before your conditional residence expires
  • If you fail to file on time, you could lose your conditional resident status and face removal (deportation) from the U.S.
  • If you file Form I-751 too early, the application will be denied

Complete Form I-751:

  • Fill out Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence
  • Obtain the most recent edition of the form available on the USCIS website
  • Be sure to provide accurate and complete information
  • If filing jointly, both spouses must sign and date the form

Supporting Documents:

  • Include supporting documents to establish the bona fides of your marriage and the legitimacy of your relationship
  • Learn more: Form I-751 Checklist

Filing Fee:

  • Include the required filing fee with your application
  • Check the USCIS website for the current fee amount
  • It’s recommended to pay by money order or cashier’s check
  • Using a credit card to pay the filing fee might lead to rejection
  • Due to time-sensitive nature of Form I-751, it’s recommended that you ensure that the payment method will be accepted by USCIS and the whole application is prepared correctly

Mail the Application:

  • Mail the completed Form I-751, supporting documents, and the filing fee to the appropriate USCIS address
  • Make sure to use the correct address based on your location
  • We recommend that you mail the completed application via express mail with a tracking number
  • Make a copy of the completed application for your records

Receipt Notice:

  • Once USCIS receives your application, they will mail you a receipt notice
  • Receipt notice contains a receipt number that can be used to track the case status online
  • This serves as proof of your extended conditional resident status while application is pending

Biometrics Appointment:

  • You may be scheduled for a biometrics appointment to provide fingerprints, photograph, and signature
  • Attending the appointment if scheduled is mandatory

Request for Evidence (RFE) or Interview:

  • USCIS may request additional evidence or schedule an interview to further evaluate your case
  • Respond promptly to any requests for additional information

Approval or Denial:

  • If your petition is approved, you will receive a new 10-year green card
  • If denied, USCIS will provide reasons for the denial, and you may be placed in removal proceedings

Can I file Form I-751 online?

Form I-751 cannot be filed online. 

A completed application must be submitted by mail to the correct USCIS address.

What is the difference between I-90 and I-751?

Forms I-90 and I-751 serve different purposes:

Form I-90

Form I-751

  • Used by 10-year green card holders to apply for a replacement or renewal of their green card
  • Reasons for filing include:
    • Lost
    • Stolen
    • Expired
    • Damaged green card
    • Name or other biographic information change
  • Form I-90 is not used to remove conditions on a conditional green card
  • Form I-90 can be filed:
    • Immediately, if a green card is lost, stolen or damaged
    • Immediately, if a green card holder changes their biographic information (for example, name)
    • 180 days before green card expiration date
  • Used by conditional permanent residents (2-year green card holders) 
  • Form’s purpose is to remove the conditions on their residency
  • Form I-751 approval will result in issuance of a 10-year green card
  • Uses by conditional permanent residents who obtained their green cards through marriage
  • Form I-751 must be filed jointly with their sponsor spouse 
  • Form I-751 must be filed 90 days before the conditional 2-year green card expires
  • The purpose of this form is to demonstrate that the marriage was entered in good faith

What supporting documents do I need for Form I-751?

See the checklist of supporting documents: Form I-751 Checklist

How many photographs do you need for I-751?

  • It’s recommended that you provide as many photographs as possible 
  • Provide at least 20-30 photographs of the couple together with family and friends, from throughout their relationship
  • Photographs preferably should include both spouses in each of the pictures
  • Examples of photographs include:
    • Vacations
    • Birthday parties
    • Holiday gatherings
    • Social gatherings
    • Religious celebrations, etc.
  • Each photograph must have a detailed description: 
    • Date
    • Location
    • Occasion
    • Names of each person depicted (for example, from left to right: Petitioner Michael Moore, conditional resident Elizabeth White, etc.)
    • Relationship of each person depicted to the couple (for example, father of petitioner, friend of conditional resident, etc.)

How many bank statements are needed for Form I-751?

  • Provide ALL monthly joint bank account statements (from the date a conditional green card was issued until present)
  • You can provide joint checking, joint savings, joint credit card statements

How much evidence do I need for Form I-751?

  • You must provide as many documents as possible
  • Each application is unique and USCIS officer will review the evidence presented in its entirety to make a decision 
  • Some documents have greater evidentiary value than others
  • For example, the following documents might have greater value:
    • Birth certificates of children born into marriage 
    • Joint assets (house, car, savings account, CD accounts, etc.)
    • Joint mortgage
    • Joint lease agreement(s)
    • Joint utility bills
    • Joint life insurance
    • Joint health insurance

Form I-751 filing fee

Form I-751 filing fees are provided below:

I-751 Filing Category Paper Filing Fee
General Filing $750
Conditional permanent residents, spouse, or child who filed a waiver of the joint filing requirement based on battery or extreme cruelty. $0

Certain applicants may be eligible for a Fee Waiver. Learn more: Form I-912, Request for Fee Waiver.

How to fill out Form I-751

See instructions on filling out Form I-751: How to Fill Out Form I-751 – Step-By-Step Instructions

Form I-751 filing address

A completed Form I-751 petition, with supporting documents and filing fee must be submitted by mail to the correct address:

If you live in:

Mail your form to:

Connecticut

Florida

Georgia

Guam

Illinois

Indiana

Maine

Maryland

Massachusetts

Michigan

New Hampshire

New Jersey

New York

Ohio

Pennsylvania

Rhode Island

South Carolina

Vermont

Wisconsin

USCIS Elgin Lockbox

U.S. Postal Service (USPS): 

USCIS
Attn: I-751 
P.O. Box 4072
Carol Stream, IL  60197-4072

FedEx, UPS, and DHL deliveries: 

USCIS
Attn: I-751 (Box 4072)
2500 Westfield Drive
Elgin, IL 60124-7836

Alabama

Alaska

American Samoa

Arizona

Arkansas

Armed Forces Europe

Armed Forces Pacific

Armed Forces Americas

California

Colorado

Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands

Delaware

District of Columbia

Hawaii

Idaho

Iowa

Kansas

Kentucky

Louisiana

Marshall Islands

Micronesia

Minnesota

Mississippi

Missouri

Montana

Nebraska

Nevada

New Mexico

No State

North Carolina

North Dakota

Oklahoma

Oregon

Palau

Puerto Rico

South Dakota

Tennessee

Texas

U.S. Virgin Islands

Utah

Virginia

Washington

West Virginia

Wyoming

USCIS Phoenix Lockbox

U.S. Postal Service (USPS): 

USCIS
Attn: I-751 
P.O. Box 21200
Phoenix, AZ 85036-1200

FedEx, UPS, and DHL deliveries: 

USCIS
Attn: I-751 (Box 21200)
2108 E. Elliot Rd.
Tempe, AZ 85284-1806

Form I-751 filing addresses are subject to change, make sure to verify the correct mailing address on the USCIS website.

Form I-751 Waiver 

If you (conditional resident) are unable to file Form I-751 with your spouse, learn more about Form I-751 Waiver of Joint Filing Requirement

Does an I-751 extend a green card?

  • Yes, a timely filed Form I-751 extends a conditional green card
  • Form I-751 receipt notice serves as proof of green card extension and employment authorization
  • Typically, USCIS extends your conditional green card for 24-48 months
  • The exact extension period can be found on Form I-751 receipt notice

What happens after filing I-751 petition to remove conditions on residence?

After filing Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence, the following steps typically follow in the process:

  • Receipt Notice:
      • Once USCIS registers the Form I-751 petition, they will send a receipt notice 
      • This notice confirms that the petition has been received and provides a receipt number, which can be used to track the case status
  • Online USCIS Account:
      • USCIS will mail instructions on creating an online account linked to Form I-751
      • It’s recommended that you create an online account using the Online Access Code provided on the notice
      • Online Access Code expires in 90 days, so create an account as soon as you receive it
      • Online account will allow you to:
        • Download all notices electronically
        • Track the status of your case
        • Upload response to Request for Evidence (RFE) online
  • Biometrics Appointment:
      • USCIS may schedule the conditional resident for a biometrics appointment
      • During this appointment, fingerprints, photographs, and a signature are collected for identity verification purposes
      • Sometimes USCIS can reuse the previously collected biometrics, so you don’t need to appear for appointment
  • Request for Additional Evidence (if needed):
      • USCIS may request additional evidence to support the bona fide nature of the marriage
      • You must respond to RFE within the deadline provided in the notice
  • Interview (if scheduled):
      • In some cases, USCIS may schedule an interview to further assess the validity of the marriage
      •  The couple may be interviewed together to answer questions about their relationship and marriage
  • Decision:
      • USCIS will review all the submitted evidence and, if satisfied, approve the Form I-751 petition
      • If approved, the conditional resident’s status is changed to regular permanent residency (without any conditions)
  • Receipt of 10-Year Green Card:
    • Upon approval, USCIS will produce a new green card that is valid for 10 years
    • The green card will be mailed to the address provided on Form I-751

Is USCIS approving Form I-751 without an interview?

  • USCIS officers have discretion to waive interviews in Form I-751 applications
  • If your interview is waived, you do not need to appear at USCIS field office
  • If you have submitted strong evidence of marriage with your Form I-751 petition, it increases your chances of getting Form I-751 approved without an interview
  • USCIS still can schedule an interview for some Form I-751 cases

How long does it take for Form I-751 to get approved?

It can take anywhere from 12 months to 32 months for Form I-751 to get approved by USCIS:

USCIS Service Center

Average processing time

California Service Center
  • 22 months
Nebraska Service Center
  • 19 months
Potomac Service Center
  • 32.5 months
Texas Service Center
  • 28 months
Vermont Service Center
  • 24 months
All field offices
  • 32 months

Source: USCIS Processing Times

To check the most current processing times for Form I-751:

Keep in mind that processing times are general estimates, and individual cases may take less or more time to complete.

Additionally, USCIS may issue Requests for Evidence (RFEs) during the processing of your application, which can add to the overall processing time. 

It’s crucial to respond promptly and thoroughly if you receive an RFE to avoid delays.

If your case is outside the normal processing time, you place an Outside Normal Processing Time e-Request or request assistance from your local congressman’s office.

What is the difference between Form I-751 and I-485?

Form I-751 and Form I-485 serve different purposes and are associated with different stages of the immigration process:

  • Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence:
      • Purpose: This form is used by conditional permanent residents to request the removal of conditions on their permanent resident status
      • Conditional permanent residency is obtained through marriage to a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
      • Timing: It is filed jointly by the conditional resident and their spouse within the 90-day period before the expiration of their conditional green card, which is valid for two years
      • Process: The petitioning couple must demonstrate that their marriage is genuine. USCIS reviews the evidence provided and, if approved, the conditional resident receives a 10-year green card, converting their status to regular permanent residency
    • Purpose: This form is used by individuals in the U.S. who are eligible to adjust their status to become a lawful permanent resident. It is generally filed by individuals with an approved or pending immigrant petition, such as family-sponsored or employment-based petitions
    • Timing: The timing of filing Form I-485 depends on the individual’s eligibility category and the availability of a visa number. In some cases, it can be filed concurrently with the immigrant petition, while in others, it may be filed later when a visa number becomes available
    • Process: Form I-485 is the final step in the process for many immigrants seeking permanent residency. It includes a comprehensive background check, a medical examination, and an interview. If approved, the individual receives a green card and becomes a lawful permanent resident

What happens after Form I-751 is approved

What happens after Form I-751 is approved:

    • Receipt of Approval Notice: 
      • You will receive an approval notice from USCIS
      • This notice confirms the approval of the petition and removal of conditions 
    • 10-Year Green Card: 
      • USCIS will issue a new green card that is valid for 10 years
      • The new green card will be sent by mail
    • Permanent Residency: 
      • With the removal of conditions, the individual becomes a regular permanent resident with no further conditions
  • U.S. Citizenship:
    • If eligible, a permanent resident can apply for U.S. citizenship

Does the 2 years of conditional green card count towards citizenship?

  • Yes, 2 years of conditional green card count towards U.S. citizenship
  • If you are married to a U.S. citizen, you can become eligible for citizenship 2 years and 9 months after obtaining a conditional green card
  • If you are married to a permanent resident, you can become eligible for citizenship 4 years and 9 months after obtaining a conditional green card
  • To apply for U.S. citizenship, file Form N-400 with USCIS

Learn more:

How to Fill Out Form I-751 – Step-By-Step Instructions