Removal of Condition
Removal of Condition refers to green cards that were initially obtain conditionally based on marriage with a two-year validity period. 8 USC 1186a. Your permanent resident status is conditional if it is based on a marriage. That was less than two years old on the day you became a permanent resident. You can receive a conditional permanent resident status when you are either admitted to the United States on an immigrant visa through consular processing or through adjustment of status in the U.S. to that of a permanent resident.
Conditional permanent residents (CPR) are require to file a joint petition utilizing Form I-751 with their spouse within the 90-day period before the conditional green card expires. They must submit documents to show their marriage was enter in good faith and was not for the purpose of circumventing immigration laws. The quantity and types of documents required to overcome this burden of proof depends on the individual cases but they often include joint financial documents, leases, insurance policies, etc. The process is straight-forward but time-sensitive. If your green card is conditional, you must file your joint petition with your spouse to remove condition. Within the 90-day windows prior to the expiration.
The process becomes trickier when the petitioning spouse is no longer around. Or refuses to joint in the petition to remove condition. This could happen in cases of family feud, termination of marriage, or when the spouse has passed away. If you find yourself in one of these situations, your best bet is to seek. Out the help of an experienced attorney.
Naturalization While Removal of Condition Pending
The current processing time for the USCIS to adjudicate I-751 is anywhere between 10 months to 34 months depending on which USCIS Service Center or Field Office is in charge of handling the case. See USCIS: Check Case Processing Times. One question that often arises is whether a CPR can apply for citizenship if their petition to remove condition is still pending?
The Immigration and Nationality Act Section 319(a) provides a green card holder may apply. For Naturalization after three years from the issue date of the green card based on marriage to a US citizen. However, this provision does not apply to conditional green cards. Nevertheless, if your Form I-751 is pending and you’ve not yet received your permanent green card, you may apply for naturalization. Under this provision by invoking § 319(a) as long as you meet the eligibility requirements for naturalization. Although USCIS cannot approve your naturalization until they have approved. Your petition to remove condition, often times, they will concurrently process both cases.
When filing N-400 application for naturalization with a pending I-751, you should include a cover letter explaining that you have a pending petition to remove condition and request that it also be adjudicated at the same interview. Normally, USCIS will transfer your case and adjudicate simultaneously with the naturalization interview. However, in some cases, USCIS will not transfer your case, which means they’ll finish Form I-751 first. And then move on to a decision for the N-400 application. Also Keep in mind that in case of simultaneous adjudication. If there are issues with your I-751 petion that do not warrant immediate approval. USCIS will hold the adjudication of your naturalization until such time a decision can be made on the I-751 petition.
Interview for Concurrently Pending Forms I-751 and N-400
In normal naturalization cases, only the applicant must attend the interview. And no one else will be allow to attend other than their attorney. But remember that I-751 is a joint petition. This means both spouses file it together and both must be present at the interview. Therefore, in cases of concurrent adjudications of I-751 and N-700. The presence of both spouses is require at the interview. So that the USCIS can adjudicate the I-751 petition before moving on to the naturalization case.