As a matter of law, a conditional resident and spouse must appear in-person for an interview after filing Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence. But USCIS waive this requirement in some cases.
Determining the Need for an Interview
Many couples are required to attend an interview. Yet USCIS does have the ability to waive the interview requirement. One of the best ways to avoid the I-751 interview is to submit a well-prepared I-751 petition with plenty of quality evidence.
Specifically, your evidence should present overwhelming proof that you have a bona fide marriage. A marriage certificate alone is not sufficient. You need to convince USCIS that your marriage was not for the purpose of evading the immigration laws and obtaining a green card. Show them that you are treating the marriage as a permanent union, making life changes (financial, insurance, children, etc.) that demonstrate this intention. With plenty of good evidence and a well-prepared Form I-751, USCIS may waive the interview and approve the I-751 petition.
Filing with a Waiver
If you are filing with a waiver to the joint filing requirement, you should expect to attend an interview after filing Form I-751. Filing with a waiver does not mean that you didn’t enter the marriage in good faith. Now that you are separated from your spouse, it makes it more challenging. There will be a stronger presumption that the marriage was entered for the purposes of obtaining a green card. It’s your job to prove it was genuine. Generally, it’s best to seek the advice of an immigration attorney before filing Form I-751 with a waiver to the joint filing requirement.