What Happens After Filing I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence
You’ve already filed Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence. Naturally, you’re curious to know what happens after filing I-751 and how long it will take to get your new 10-year green card. Although the steps to remove conditions on your green card are fairly consistent, the I-751 processing time can vary based on the USCIS case load, the USCIS office where you filed, and your ability to properly file an accurately prepared Form I-751 without errors or omissions.
The following list details the basic steps of the process for most people. There is an approximate amount of time provided. However, this I-751 timeline can vary.
Receipt of Application
APPROXIMATELY 4 TO 6 WEEKS AFTER FILING
If your Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence, has been properly filed, USCIS will initially respond by mailing you a letter that confirms receipt of your petition. The receipt letter is formally known as Form I-797C, Notice of Action (see example below) and arrives approximately 4-6 weeks after filing. 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.
If your Form I-751 has not been properly filed, USCIS may 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. So it’s important to prepare the I-751 petition correctly and submit all required documents according to the filing instructions.
Appointment Notice for Biometrics
APPROXIMATELY 6 TO 8 WEEKS AFTER FILING
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 applicants to be fingerprinted for the purpose of conducting a security clearance and criminal background check. Don’t be alarmed — All applicants must have background checks.
Tip: Generally it’s best to show up only on your scheduled appointment date and time. But if you need to travel abroad before a scheduled USCIS biometrics appointment (or before the appointment has been scheduled), it may be possible to attend your biometric screening early. Learn more in our biometrics appointment FAQs.
APPROXIMATELY 7 TO 10 WEEKS AFTER FILING
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 photo identification to enter the building. If you do not have your green card, USCIS can accept other government-issued photo ID documents such as:
- Passport or national photo identification issued by your country
- Driver’s license
- Military photo identification
- State-issued photo identification card
To learn more about the appointment, read USCIS biometrics appointment.
Tip: If you think you might have a criminal record, 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
APPROXIMATELY 2 TO 10 MONTHS AFTER FILING
If you have filed a complete petition with 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 to remove conditions on green card, even if you are filing with a waiver. Avoid a Request for Evidence by filing a complete I-751 package with thorough supporting evidence.
Interview Appointment Notice
APPROXIMATELY 8 TO 12 MONTHS AFTER FILING
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 (i.e. deportation) proceedings.
Receive Your 10-Year Green Card
APPROXIMATELY 12 TO 18 MONTHS AFTER FILING
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.
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.
After filing the I-751 petition to remove conditions on your green card, the I-751 processing time takes about 12-18 months for most people. 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 or schedule an interview. 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.