The I-751 Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence can be a much more problematic petition than it first may seem, particularly for young couples without children.  We are seeing higher rates of incidence of interview requests for pending I-751 petitions under the Trump Administration.  Ostensibly the interview requests are for lack of a good set of documentary evidence that demonstrate the marriage remains bona fide and the couple living together at the time the I-751 petition is filed with USCIS.

The following is a checklist of recommended supporting documents to include with an I-751 Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence.  Going in strong with an initial set of documents attached to the petition is the best method to increase likelihood of I-751 approval without an interview.

I. Evidence of past or current shared residence between immigrant/petitioner and U.S. spouse, dating back three (3) months (or longer if separated).

a. Leases, deeds or mortgage statements which lists names of both spouses;
b. Utility and/or phone bills which lists the names of one or both spouses living at a share residence during a common timeframe.

II. Financial records indicating joint ownership of other assets or liabilities, dating back three (3) months (or longer if separated).

a. Joint bank account or credit account statements;
b. Titles to vehicles or real property;
c. Other jointly-held financial instruments, securities or business ownership documentation;
d. Federal tax returns dating back two (2) years, whether filed jointly or separately. (Following a confidential review of the requested tax returns, the Attorney will discuss with the Client whether tax returns would in fact be helpful or harmful, and therefore whether they should or should not be submitted.)

III. Birth certificate(s) of children born to petition and U.S. spouse (if any).

IV. Affidavits from at least two (2) persons who have personal knowledge of the marital relationship between immigrant/petitioner and U.S. spouse. (Attorney will prepare draft. Please provide names and contact information of requested Affiants.)

V. Other documentary evidence which establishes a bona fide marriage, including but not limited to:
a. Employment benefit documentation which demonstrates that the either spouse is a dependent or named beneficiary of a health or retirement benefit plan;
b. Insurance policies which demonstrate either spouse is a named beneficiary;
c. Family photos (copied onto 8½” x 11” paper) which include both spouses along with relatives (preferably parents of either spouse) and/or Affiants (see IV above).

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Supporting documents for any I-751 petition must be tailored to fit the circumstances of the marriage, living situation and the foreign spouse’s immigration history.  The above supporting document checklist serves as a template only but is a good starting point to begin your quest to assemble the best documentary evidence in order to ensure a smooth I-751 petition process.