A recent policy memorandum issued by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has revised the need for having an interview while adjudicating Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence. This is sure to reduce the processing times for Form I-751.
As the previous process goes, immigration officers had to interview a conditional permanent resident who obtains lawful permanent resident status on a conditional basis. These foreigners obtain this status and get a green card by either marrying a US citizen or by virtue of being their children. If they are married for less than two years at the time of admission or adjustment of status to obtain this conditional lawful permanent residency. To avoid losing this status after these two years, they have to file Form I-751 along with evidence that the marriage was not fraudulent, or done with an intention to try to evade US immigration laws. This process came with an interview to determine credibility of all parties involved. This mandate has now been waived.
The potential of waiving interviews is certainly going to streamline adjudicating the Form I-751 processing times. The new policy reduces the timelines and anxiety of legitimate couples who have had to go through these interviews. This policy allows USCIS officers to waive the interview element if:
- The existing records on file have sufficient evidence that the marriage is bona fide legitimate;
- No actions have been performed to evade the US immigrations laws in any way;
There was already an interview conducted in the very beginning of the process and the petition was received after December 10, 2018;
- The principal petitioner has had other petitions on file like Form I-485 or Form I-130 and due diligence was already performed for these in the past;
- The supporting documents supports the authenticity of the marriage;
- Ultimately, there are no indications or red flags that may require further investigation or resolution.
This waiver is applicable to both single and joint filers of I-751. Do keep in mind that USCIS had announced an automatic 18-month extension of the continued residential status for Permanent residents past their expiration.