You’ve gotten all of your paperwork ready, filled out the necessary forms, double and triple-checked everything, and included all of the required documents.
You submit everything to USCIS for processing and are now wondering – what happens next? Am I done? Will there be a second interview? How long will it take before I hear anything from USCIS? Will I hear anything at all unless something is wrong?
The following is what to expect after you have filed your I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence.
NOTE: if you have further questions about the process or need a U.S. immigration attorney’s help navigating removal of conditions for a marriage-based green card, see our Remove Residency Conditions page.
After submitting your I-751 removal of conditions, you should receive a receipt notice within three weeks of your filing. This receipt notice will confirm the USCIS has received your forms and started processing your paperwork.
Form I-797 Receipt Notice
This receipt is called Form I-797 – Notice of Action. This notice also serves as an extension to your conditional residence for a year while your I-751 is being processed by USCIS. Your receipt notice will come with a ten-digit number that you can use to check the status of your application. Both the expired green card and the I-797 receipt notice are necessary to prove conditional residency status in case of travel.
It is also suggested that you get an extension stamp or an I-551 stamp in your passport. This can be done at your regional USCIS office. Should the inevitable happen and USCIS rejects your application or need more information, they will send a Notice of Action or Request for Evidence.
You should receive a notice detailing a biometrics appointment within four weeks of filing your I-751. The notice will include information regarding the USCIS office where you need to appear, the time of appointment, and the date. At your biometrics appointment, you will need to record your fingerprints, photograph, and signature. These appointments are approximately 30 minutes, and your notice will provide details of what you will need to bring.
You will not be receiving any additional notices after your biometrics appointment unless the information provided previously is missing or needs to be re-recorded or re-submitted for any other reason.
Processing times & Potential Interview
Some applicants will receive an interview requirement notice, while others will not. There is no reason to panic – interviews are a normal part of the process and are not an indication of something being wrong with your application. It is generally a good idea to get in touch with an attorney who can help you prepare sufficiently ahead of the interview.
If you submit your own I-751 form, USCIS’s processing time is usually around 6-8 months. However, if your spouse submits the waiver application, it can take USCIS up to 12 months to process it. This is because a waiver application tends to undergo a more rigorous screening process and will often require an interview. In some cases, the waiver application will be accepted prima facia, and USCIS will not require a confirming interview to complete the process. This is why it is essential to provide as much bona fide evidence of the relationship as possible when submitting your I-751 application.
Once your application has been processed and your I-751 Petition to Remove Conditions granted, a ten-year green card will be issued. It is important to keep in mind that every case is different and as such the processing time frame will be as well.
Regardless of your personal situation, we are happy to help you assess the next steps and the requirements you need to meet.
Please contact us for further information and assistance with your particular matter at immigration [at] tomgallagherlaw.com.