Typically, USCIS adjudicates (makes a decision) within 12 to 18 months of accepting your Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence. However, processing times do vary. The I-751 timeline is dependent on submitting a well-prepared case and on USCIS workloads. Several milestones are listed below.
RECOMMENDED: What Happens After Filing Form I-751
Notice of Action
Approximately 6 to 8 weeks after properly filing Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence, USCIS will send you Form I-797C, Notice of Action. This is a receipt letter that indicates USCIS has accepted your petition for processing. The letter will also extend your permanent resident status for an additional 18 months. Thus, it’s a very important document. Make a photo copy of the letter and carry it with you at all times (along with your expired green card). Keep your original in a safe place.
RECOMMENDED: Form I-797 Notice of Action Explained
Within the following month, USCIS will send a separate letter with biometrics appointment notice. This is generally a short appointment at a local USCIS office that includes gathering your fingerprints, photograph and signature. The biometrics information is used to perform a criminal background check and then create your new permanent resident card (green card).
As a matter of law, USCIS requires you and your spouse to attend an interview with an immigration officer. This is a standard part of the process, but you may be able to avoid the I-751 interview in some cases. Upon approval, the immigrant spouse will receive an approval notice and then the 10-year green card in the mail.
Although the I-751 timeline has grown over the last decade, it doesn’t mean your life is on hold . In fact, your time as a conditional resident counts toward your citizenship requirement. Many I-751 petitioners actually apply for U.S. citizenship while the I-751 is still pending. It is okay to file Form N-400, Application for Naturalization, with a pending Form I-751.
RECOMMENDED: Time as a Conditional Resident Counts for N-400