U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has recently issued several notifications dedicated to streamlining processes and reducing backlogs of cases and applications. For example, USCIS recently said they will waive mandatory interviews under certain circumstances for married people who want to remove the conditions of their permanent resident status. So, if you are married and want permanent residency in the United States, USCIS is making it a bit easier.
In their announcement, USCIS said, “A noncitizen who obtains permanent resident status based on a marriage that began less than two years before obtaining that status receives permanent resident status on a conditional basis for two years. To remove the conditions on permanent resident (CPR) status, family-based CPRs generally must file a Form I-751 within the 90 days before the two-year anniversary of when they obtained CPR status.”
In non-lawyer speak, this means the following:
- When a non-U.S. citizen marries a U.S. citizen, they can get a Green Card allowing them to live and work permanently in the United States.
- However, it is conditional for the first two years.
- To remove these conditions, the non-citizen must file form I-751.
Before this announcement, those who filed form I-751 were interviewed as part of the process to remove permanent residency conditions. Now, USCIS is taking a risk-based approach. Accordingly, USCIS officers have discretion on whether or not to waive the previous mandatory interview.
To Waive or Not
In reviewing the applicant’s Form I-751, the USCIS officer looks for evidence that:
- The marriage is legitimate.
- The joint-filing requirement is eligible for a waiver (if applicable).
- There is no fraud.
- Supporting documentation is valid.
- There is no criminal history.
- The are no other concerning issues.
If the officer deems the I-751 to be acceptable, the applicant will not have to attend an interview.
This new policy will free up time and resources at USCIS. According to their announcement, “Implementing a risk-based strategic approach to the CPR-interview process will increase efficiencies that improve processing times, allow for a better use of agency staffing resources, and help reduce the pending caseload while still maintaining procedures to identify fraud and protect national security. This update is consistent with agency priorities to break down barriers in the immigration system, eliminate undue burdens on those seeking benefits, and effectively respond to stakeholder feedback and public concerns.”
Hopefully, this new policy will indeed be less burdensome on married people who want permanent residency.
Williams Immigration is here to Help
If you read any USCIS announcement, you will get a glimpse into the complexity of U.S. immigration law. So, if you need help with marital status, Form I-751, green cards, or other immigration needs, give me a call.