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USCIS Updates Guidance on Conditional Permanent Residence

USCIS has updated guidance on family-based conditional permanent residence concerning Form I-751, Petition to Remove the Conditions on Residence.

What is Conditional Permanent Residence?

An individual who is admitted to the United States as a permanent resident, or obtains permanent resident status, based on a marriage less than 2 years old receives permanent resident status on a conditional basis for 2 years. The purpose of this conditional permanent residence is to discourage the use of fraudulent marriages to obtain permanent residence.

To remove the 2-year conditions, a conditional permanent resident (CPR) generally must file a Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence within the 90-day period immediately preceding the second anniversary of the CPR obtaining permanent resident status. In principle, the CPR and the petitioning spouse (if not deceased) must jointly file a Form I-751. However, the statute provides the ability to request a waiver, which allows the CPR to file a Form I-751 without the petitioning spouse in certain circumstances.

In adjudicating the Petition, USCIS conducts a second review of the marriages’ bona fides to ensure that the CPR entered into the marriage in good faith and not for the sole purpose of obtaining an immigration benefit.

What Kind of Updates did USCIS Add to the Guidance?

USCIS has provided the following updates in its Policy Manual regarding family-based conditional permanent residence:

  • Consolidated and updated guidance on eligibility, filing, and adjudication of Form I-751, including joint petitions, individual filing requests, and waivers.
  • Provided additional guidance on the steps required to change the basis for filing, including for cases involving waivers based on battery or extreme cruelty.
  • Clarified that an individual who lost CPR status for failure to timely file Form I-751 may adjust status to permanent residence on a new basis, regardless of whether USCIS issued a notice of termination of CPR status before the individual filed a Form I-485 on a new basis.

This updated guidance became effective on December 12, 2023, and applies to applications filed on or after that day.

For USCIS’ original announcement, please visit here.

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