On April 7th, USCIS announced they are now waiving green card interviews for some family-based immigrants filing an I-751 removal of conditions application.
However, not everyone is going to qualify for an interview waiver, and USCIS has specific criteria they will use when evaluating applications.
Keep watching because we are going to take a closer look at what these criteria are and how to make sure your i-751 has everything needed to get your interview waived!
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So under this new policy, who is eligible to have their green card interview waived?
This update applies to immigrants who are filing for the removal of conditions on their two year marriage green card.
This is a green card given to couples who have been married for less than two years.
Within 90 days of that green card expiring they must submit an I-751 Removal of Conditions form to gain Lawful Permanent Resident status and get their ten-year green card.
This new policy is part of USCIS’s continued efforts to speed up the immigration process and reduce the green card backlog.
That means officers are incentivised to waive interviews for applicants who meet the risk assessment criteria.
So if you are filing an I-751 application it’s even more important that your application is thorough and has everything the officer needs to approve your case and WAIVE your interview!
So what are the five elements USCIS will be looking at and what should you include in your I-751 application to get your interview waived?
Number one: the officer will be looking for strong evidence that your marriage is real.
For this you will want to provide the evidence submitted with your initial green card application PLUS additional proof of the marriage’s legitimacy during the two year conditional period.
This can include:
Number two: the officer is going to determine if there is any indication of fraud or misrepresentation on the documents provided.
This means it is important that you submit official copies of all of your documents, with accurate and up-to-date information.
You also want to make sure your application contains all of the necessary signatures.
Number 3: The immigration officer will then look to determine if your case has any “complex facts or issues that need to be resolved.”
This is why it is important that your application is thorough and includes more evidence rather than less.
If there are any complex issues in your case, you want to provide enough supporting evidence so the immigration officer is not left with any questions.
This might mean you include a sworn affidavit attesting to the facts of your case and how they are supported by the evidence provided.
Number 4: The last thing the officer is going to evaluate to determine if your interview can be waived is if you have any criminal history that could cause your case to be denied.
Having a criminal history doesn’t mean your case will automatically be denied, but it does mean your application needs to include more information.
With the exception of traffic violations, you must disclose every time you were cited, arrested, or charged with a crime, even if the charges were later dismissed or if your criminal record has been expunged.
Working with an immigration lawyer can help ensure you include all court records and documentation necessary and prove that it does not disqualify you from a green card.
Number 5: If you are applying without your spouse using a waiver, the officer will be looking for evidence to support your eligibility for that waiver.
Maybe you filed for your initial green card jointly with your spouse, but now you are filing on your own because your spouse died, you got a divorce, or you suffered extreme cruelty or abuse.
The officer is still able to waive your interview if your application contains everything necessary to prove your case and they are not left with any unanswered questions.
This means you will still need to include evidence that your marriage was real PLUS the evidence to prove your eligibility for a waiver.
The best thing you can do to make sure your I-751 is approved without an interview is to work with an experienced immigration lawyer such as myself who can help you put together all the information needed to tell YOUR story.