Articles Posted in I-751

What happens when you have let your green card expire, and you now want to apply for citizenship?

Overview: 

Under current immigration law, a naturalization applicant is not required to have a valid green card at the time of filing for citizenship.

Because of this, individuals with a now expired green card do not need to apply to renew their green cards before applying for citizenship.

However, in cases where the green card was lost or stolen it is recommended that the individual file Form I-90 to renew a lost or stolen green card.  Even in this case you may still apply for citizenship and provide a copy of your I-90 receipt notice as proof that your green card renewal is in process.

Exception: Individuals who are traveling or individuals who need to have a valid green card to prove that they are eligible to engage in lawful employment,  should apply to renew their green cards as soon as possible.

Remember that as a general rule, applicants are allowed to apply for citizenship even if their green card has now expired, but in certain cases it may be a good idea to apply for a green card renewal prior to applying for naturalization.

Conditional Green Cards

If you have received a conditional 2-year green card, you must first remove the conditions on your conditional permanent residence on Form I-751. Conditional residents may apply for citizenship on their third anniversary of becoming a resident, if they remain married to the same individual who petitioned for their green card.

For more information about citizenship please click here.

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In this video attorney Jacob Sapochnick answers a frequently asked question: Can you lose your green card if you get divorced during the green card application process?

The answer is that it depends on where you are in the green card process.

As a preliminary matter, when you are married to a U.S. Citizen for less than 2 years, at the time of filing, you receive a conditional green card that is valid for 2-year period. In order to remain in the United States, you must remove the conditions on your green card before your conditional green card expires.

If you have been married for more than 2 years at the time of filing, then you will receive a green card that is valid for 10 years, and you do not need to remove your conditions.

If you divorce after obtaining your conditional green card, you can still remove your conditions to obtain the 10-year green card, despite having divorced. To read more about the removal of conditions process for applicants who have divorced please click here.

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In this video attorney Jacob Sapochnick will show you how you can check the processing times for the I-751 Removal of Conditions and Form I-90 Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card.

What is the I-751?

Form I-751 Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence is a form that must be filed by conditional permanent residents to remove their conditions and receive the ten-year permanent resident card.

At the moment, the I-751 Petition is taking longer than expected to be adjudicated by USCIS. As a result of these delays, on June 11, 2018, USCIS began issuing receipt notices extending an applicant’s conditional permanent resident status for a period of 18 months, as opposed to 12 months.

It is not uncommon however for some petitions to take longer than 18 months to be processed, especially in the case of an I-751 waiver of the joint filing requirement.

It is important to note that processing times vary by service centers. There are five service centers that process and adjudicate the I-751 petition. These service centers include: California, Nebraska, Potomac, Texas, and Vermont.

Please follow along on the CIS website to find out how you can check the processing times based on these service centers.

What is the I-90?

The I-90 application is used by lawful permanent residents to apply for replacement or renewal of existing Permanent Resident Cards.

The Potomac service center is the only service center currently processing I-90 applications.

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In this video attorney Jacob Sapochnick talks about your options, as a U.S. Citizen, if you have just discovered that your foreign spouse used you to obtain a green card.

When such a case arises, and we are representing the U.S. Citizen who has just discovered that they have been defrauded, we advise our client to seek outside counsel. We cannot advise our client on how to proceed if we have filed the case because providing such advise creates a conflict of interest.

If our office did not file the green card petition, then it is possible for us to assess the U.S. Citizens options by having a consultation and discussing the situation at hand.

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You are married to a US Citizen and you filed your petition for a green card, but now you are going through a divorce, can you keep your green card?

Divorce Prior to Green Card

If you have filed your application for a green card, but have not yet attended your green card interview, and you or your spouse has since filed for divorce, it is going to be nearly impossible for your green card application to continue without the U.S. Citizen spouse.

If the divorce is filed or is happening before the adjudication of your green card, there are very few options for the foreign spouse to obtain a green card.

As long as the foreign spouse is in legal status, they may be able to remain in the United States by changing their status to a nonimmigrant visa category. In this case, the foreign spouse may only remain in the U.S. temporarily, until the duration of the visa is up.

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In this video attorney Jacob Sapochnick discusses the current processing time for the I-751 Petition to Remove Conditions on Permanent Residence.

If you were granted conditional residence (2-year green card) based on your marriage to a U.S. citizen (USC) or legal permanent resident (LPR), you must file USCIS Form I-751 Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence proving that you entered your marriage in good faith, and not to gain an immigration benefit. Filing the I-751 petition allows you to receive your 10-year permanent resident card

The most common question we receive regarding the I-751 application is how long the application takes to process.

The processing time depends on various different factors such as when you filed your petition, where you reside, the service center processing your application, and the volume of applications currently in the pipeline.

You can view the current processing times based on the service center handling your petition, by visiting the USCIS website.

The current processing times for each service center are as follows:

  • The California Service Center is currently taking between 14.5 to 19 months to process these petitions.
  • The Nebraska Service Center is currently taking between 15.5 to 23 months to process these petitions.
  • The Texas Service Center is currently taking between 16 and 19 months to process these petitions
  • The Vermont Service Center is currently taking between 15 and 19 months to process these petitions.

If you have received a request for evidence, then you may experience delays if you wait a long time to respond. If you have changed your address please ensure that you file a change of address on the USCIS website as soon as possible.

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