Form I-751 Processing Time

What Happens After Filing Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence

If you are a condition resident, you'll file Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence, during the 90 days proceeding your two-year green card anniversary. Once approved, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) mails out a 10-year green card. You're officially a lawful permanent resident. Naturally, you want to know how long it takes throughout the Form I-751 processing time line and what happens in the different steps.

Although the steps that take place are fairly consistent, the I-751 processing time will vary significantly based on USCIS case load, the USCIS office where you filed, and your ability to properly file an accurately prepared I-751 petition package. The following outline describes the basic steps of the I-751 time line for most people.

Form I-751 processing time line, what happens after filing

Receipt of Petition

If you properly file Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence, USCIS will initially respond by mailing you a receipt notice that confirms receipt of your petition. Formally known as Form I-797C, Notice of Action (see example below), the receipt notice typically arrives 4 to 6 weeks after filing. If you did not properly file your Form I-751, USCIS will send a Notice of Action to reject the petition or may send a Request for Evidence that requests additional items. Either will significantly delay your request. Thus, it is vital to prepare the I-751 correctly and submit all required supporting documents.
I-797c receipt notice during I-751 time line

This I-797C will also extend your conditional residence for an additional 18 months while USCIS reviews your case. To prove your conditional resident status, you’ll need to carry your expired green card and the receipt letter. Together, you'll be able to reenter the U.S. after travel abroad, accept employment, or anything else that you could do with a normal green card.

Tip: Save this important letter. It contains your 10-digit receipt number. You can use this receipt number to check your case status. If you didn’t receive a Notice of Action, you can make a case inquiry.

Nearly 9% of Form I-751 petitions are rejected, and thousands more are denied. A poorly prepared petition can also delay the approval process and even create significant immigration problems. When you prepare your I-751 on CitizenPath, we provide simple, step-by-step instructions and alerts to help you avoid costly delays. We even guarantee USCIS will approve your petition. No credit card is required to try it.

CitizenPath approval guarantee on Form I-751 preparation

Appointment Notice for Biometrics


Next, you will receive an appointment notice that assigns your biometrics appointment date, time and location. (The location will generally be the USCIS Application Support Center nearest you.) USCIS requires petitioners to be fingerprinted for the purpose of conducting a security clearance and criminal background check. Don’t be alarmed — All petitioners must have background checks.

Tip: Generally it’s best to show up only on your scheduled appointment date and time. But it is possible to re-schedule a USCIS biometrics appointment if necessary. Learn more in our biometrics appointment FAQs.

Biometrics Appointment

The biometrics appointment, also known as a biometrics screening, is generally a short appointment (approximately 30 minutes) so that USCIS can collect your fingerprints, photograph and signature. Your appointment notice will tell you what you need to take to the appointment. Expect to take some form of government-issued photo identification to enter the building. USCIS can accept ID documents such as:
  • Passport or national photo identification issued by your country
  • Driver’s license
  • Military photo identification
  • State-issued photo identification card
form i-751 processing time, what to expect
This is not an interview. The appointment’s purpose is to collect your biometrics information only. Try to attend the appointment as scheduled. Rescheduling the biometrics will affect the I-751 processing time. To learn more about the appointment, read USCIS biometrics appointment.
Tip: If you think you might have a criminal record (even a DUI), contact an immigration lawyer before going to a biometrics appointment. Some crimes will make you ineligible for immigration benefits. A lawyer can request a background check before USCIS does and deal with it as necessary.

Request for Evidence

If you have filed a complete petition with all supporting documents and adequate evidence to prove a bona fide marriage, it is unlikely that you will receive a Request for Evidence. However, petitioners that have not provided sufficient evidence will receive this request in the mail. It is important to respond to the letter with the requisite evidence and within the required time frame. If you are uncertain of the necessary action, this is a good time to contact an immigration attorney.
Tip: Proving a bona fide faith marriage is a crucial part of filing a successful I-751 petition. Avoid a Request for Evidence by filing a complete I-751 package with thorough supporting evidence. See how CitizenPath can help>>

Interview Appointment

There is a requisite USCIS interview after filing Form I-751. But USCIS may waive the I-751 interview for jointly filed I-751 petitions with strong evidence of a good faith (bona fide) marriage. Thus, many well-prepared joint petitioners will never be called to an interview. This is an important reason to file a complete and well-prepared I-751 package. Learn more about avoiding the I-751 interview.
Tip: If you are scheduled for an I-751 interview, it’s very important that you attend it. Failure to attend the interview may result in termination of the conditional resident’s status and the commencement of removal (deportation) proceedings.

Receive Your 10-Year Green Card

After USCIS has fully reviewed your petition and made a decision, your petition may be approved. If your petition is approved, your green card will be mailed to you. If your petition is denied, USCIS will mail you a notice explaining the reasons for the denial.
This is very serious. Denials are typically due to insufficient supporting documentation, but there can be other reasons. Although you may not appeal an I-751 denial, you will likely have the opportunity to go before an immigration court for removal proceedings. This is an opportunity to correct the problem.
Generally, you can avoid a denial on Form I-751 by simply submitting a complete petition package with good evidence. CitizenPath will help you prepare the petition correctly. In addition to your prepared form, CitizenPath provides you with a set of personalized filing instructions. Our filing instructions are customized to your answers in the application so you know what to do for your specific situation. The filing instructions provide detailed directions on supporting documents, how to organize your application, and where to mail it.
form i-751 processing time, what to expect
Tip: Moving? You must notify USCIS within 10 days of your relocation by filing Form AR-11, Alien’s Change of Address. You also must call USCIS at 1-800-375-5283 to change the address with your pending I-751 petition. If you did not receive your green card in the mail, you can make a case inquiry.

I-751 Processing Time Summary

After filing the Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence, your I-751 processing time can take anywhere from 12 to 18 months. The completeness and thoroughness of your petition package will be a significant factor. This is an approximation. It may be shorter for some and longer for others. In some cases, USCIS will make a request for additional information. Don’t forget — you can check your case status online with your receipt number. The USCIS website also lists normal processing times. If you believe that your case is outside the normal processing times, you can make a case inquiry.