When a lawful permanent resident has acquired his or her status on the basis of a marriage that is less than two years old, the lawful permanent resident status is “conditional” with a two-year date of expiration on the card.
Within the 90-day period prior to the expiration date, Form I-751 must be filed to remove the conditions on residence and replace the two-year card with a permanent card. This rule applies both to adjustment and consular processing cases. Form I-751 should be filed jointly by the petitioner and the beneficiary, and should include evidence of the bona fides of the marriage. While the I-751 is pending, the beneficiary receives notice from USCIS extending employment and travel authorization for a year. If the I-751 remains pending beyond that point, travel and work authorization can be further extended by a stamp in the applicant’s passport at an Infopass appointment.
How to request a waiver to your joint filing requirement based on divorce, extreme hardship, subject to extreme cruelty or battery by your spouse or parent
In some cases, it is not possible to jointly file the Form I-751. For example, if the couple divorces before the two-year expiration date of the conditional residence card, the beneficiary may file the I-751 alone, requesting a waiver of the joint filing requirement.
In this case, the burden falls heavily on the beneficiary to prove that the marriage was entered into in good faith. Such petitions should be submitted with all available proof of cohabitation and the bona fides of the marriage, extensive affidavits explaining both the marriage and the divorce, as well as any other evidence explaining the divorce, such as letters from friends, evidence of marriage counseling, police reports if there was abuse and, where possible, the petitioner’s own statement explaining why the marriage did not work out.