If you received conditional permanent resident status as the result of your marriage of less than two years to a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, you must file Form I-751, Petition to Remove the Conditions on Residence, in order to remove the conditions on your residence. To remove the conditions on your residence, you may be asked to appear for an in-person interview. If you are asked to appear for an interview and if your Form I-751 is jointly filed you must appear with your U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse. In some cases, this interview may be waived.
If your Form I-751 petition is jointly filed, it must be filed within the 90-day period immediately preceding the second anniversary of your admission or adjustment to permanent resident status.
What happens if you don’t file your Form I-751 within this time period?
USCIS may excuse a petition that is not filed in this time period only if it is accompanied by a reasonable explanation demonstrating extenuating circumstances. If you do not include an explanation with your Form I-751 package, it is likely that your petition will be denied and you may be issued a Notice to Appear and be placed in removal proceedings. Because a late filed Form I-751 can result in removal or deportation proceedings, you should consult with an immigration attorney if you did not file your Form I-751 on time.
You must demonstrate good cause and extenuating circumstances for the failure to timely file your Form I-751 petition. The immigration officer reviewing your Form I-751 has broad discretion for determining whether you have demonstrated good cause and extenuating circumstances for the failure to timely file your petition. Examples of what may be considered to be good cause and extenuating circumstances include: hospitalization, long term illness, death of a family member, recent birth of a child (particularly if there were complications), and a family member on active duty with the U.S. military.
The extenuating circumstances you present may be considered in conjunction with the bona fides of your marriage. In other words, the immigration officer may apply an easier standard on what is sufficient for good cause and extenuating circumstances if you present strong, irrefutable evidence of a shared life.
If you did not file your Form I-751 package on time, I strongly recommend that you contact an immigration attorney to determine your best course of action.