Grounds for an I-751 Joint Filing Waiver

July 2, 2015



Conditional Permanent Residency Cards are issued to aliens after marrying a United States citizen or permanent residence and provide conditional legal residency for only a period of two years.  A jointly filed I-751 application must be submitted to the USCIS within 90 days of expiration in order to receive the ten-year residency card.  If you cannot file an I-751 application jointly with your spouse because you are separated, undergoing a divorce, recently divorced, widowed, abused or have another compelling reason, you should call 312.561.5062 to speak to an experienced immigration attorney at JRQ & Associates to find out how you can apply for a waiver, even if you have missed the deadline for your I-751 application. 


Grounds for an I-751 Joint Filing Waiver


In order to obtain a waiver to the joint filing requirement for an I-751 application, you will need to claim and prove one or more of four specific grounds for waiver.  In all cases, just like in a standard I-751 application, you will need to establish that you entered into the marriage in good faith and not for the purpose of obtaining immigration benefits.  The grounds for waiver include:


  • That the marriage was terminated by divorce

  • That the marriage was terminated by the death of your spouse

  • That you were subjected to physical battering and/or extreme mental cruelty

  • That you would suffer extreme hardship if you were forced to return to your country of origin


If you are currently undergoing a divorce but do not yet have a final divorce decree, you will need to file jointly, notify USCIS that you are currently in divorce proceedings, and provide a copy of your final decree either at the time of the interview or by amending your application. In the event that your spouse will not sign your joint I-751 application, you will need to have an experienced immigration attorney request an extension until the divorce is finalized. 


Evidence Needed to Support a Waiver


You will need to submit supporting evidence establishing the waiver you are claiming, which is best accomplished through the help of an experienced immigration attorney because different types of evidence are required depending upon which waiver is claimed.


For example, you may need to submit one or more out of the following documents to prove your claim:


  • Affidavits in support of the waiver from yourself and third-parties

  • Court orders

  • Documents showing spousal abuse

  • Documents showing you are divorced

  • Hospital records


This list is not exhaustive and you will only need the documents that are specific to the type of waiver you are claiming. 


You will also have to undergo an interview to validate the information and evidence you submitted in your application.  An experienced immigration lawyer at JRQ & Associates will help you prepare for this interview and will make sure you have all supporting documents necessary. 


Waivers for the I-751 joint filing requirement are a complicated process best accomplished with the help of an experienced immigration attorney at JRQ & Associates to find out if you qualify for an I-751 waiver and for help putting together a successful application.  



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The photographs on the homepage slideshow are attributed and used under the following:  Chicago River © flickr user Mindfrieze under licence CC BY-SA 2.0


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