The I-751 form is an immigration form used if you live in the United States on a marriage-based green card, but you wish to remain in the US without your spouse. The form is also known as a petition to remove conditions on residence.
The condition of your residency within the United State is your marriage. When the condition is gone, you may remain in the US regardless of your marital status. The primary purpose of form I-751 is to ensure that you did not get married simply so you could live in the United States.
Who should use form I-751
If you are still married, and both you and your spouse wish to remove the conditions on your residency, the two of you should file the form together. You should do this within the 90 days before your conditional permanent residence card expires.
However, you may have to file the form on your own. Here are some situations that may lead to you filing form I-751:
- Your spouse has died, leaving you a widow or widower.
- Because of divorce or annulment, your marriage has been terminated.
- Your spouse has abused you and you wish to leave the marriage.
- Being forced to leave the US would subject you to extreme hardship.
Who should not use this form
There are some conditions under which you should not file I-751:
- You had a green card prior to your marriage.
- Your marriage was more than 2 years old when you received your permanent residence status.
- You cannot prove that your marriage was in good faith. That is, you have no evidence to show that you did not get married solely so you could live in the US.
Other documents you will need to file
Along with the I-751 form, you will need to send a copy of your permanent residence card. You must also submit evidence that you entered the marriage in good faith. This means that you married your spouse because you wanted a relationship with them, not because you wanted to work around US immigration laws.
Accepted forms of evidence include the following:
- Birth certificates of any children born within the marriage.
- Lease or mortgage documents showing that you and your spouse lived together or are still living together.
- Financial documents showing that you shared your means of living. This could include evidence of joint bank accounts, records of any major purchases that you made together, and any federal or state tax returns that you filed together.
- Affidavits, or written statements that a person creates with the understanding that lying within it is a crime, from friends or coworkers who knew you and your spouse as a couple.
- Any other papers that you think may help to prove that your marriage is or was a genuine marital relationship.
A full list of acceptable evidence can be found on our green card checklist.
If you are still married but wish to leave because of your spouse’s cruel treatment, collect evidence of the abuse. This could include copies of police reports, a restraining order you filed against your spouse, or the testimony of a medical professional who saw the wounds that your spouse inflicted on you.
If the marriage is over, you will also have to submit any related documents. For example, this might include your spouse’s death certificate or your divorce papers.
Completing and filing the form
You want the I-751 process to go as smoothly as possible, so be sure to fill out the form completely. Take time to ensure that it is easy to read. Typing your responses in the form is the best option, but you may also handwrite the form in black ink.
When you prepare the other documents you will send in with your I-751 form, double-check to make sure that you are sending photocopies, not the originals. If you send the originals, USCIS will not send them back.
After you finish putting your I-751 package together, you must file it. Where you file it depends on the state in which you live. For more information about where to file form I-751, visit the USCIS website.
Along with all the forms, you’ll also have to submit a filing fee. The fee is $505, and you might also be required to pay an additional separate fee of $85 that covers biometric services. Biometric services refer to the process the government uses to record some of your personal data, such as your fingerprints.
Even if it isn’t the right time for you to file I-751, you can still start collecting the required evidence. If you have any questions about the form that you can’t answer through your own research, consult an immigration lawyer.