New Jersey Immigration Lawyer Discusses the I-751 Form with an Abusive Husband
As a New Jersey Immigration Attorney, I am often asked by client’s about abusive husbands and filing for the I-751 form. A very important question that comes up on a regular basis has to do with converting the Green Card from a two-year conditional Green Card to a 10-year conditional Green Card in the situation where one spouse is suffering abuse by the other spouse, very often the US citizen. They have to make the decision whether or not to stay in the marriage out of fear of the spouse not cooperating to sign the I-751, which will convert the two-year card to a 10-year card.
Fortunately, there is a provision law, which is called the I-751 waiver. This waiver is the requirement to jointly file and to jointly sign and submit the papers. One of the main reasons for a waiver is when the foreign-born spouse can document abuse, emotional, physical, otherwise. You don’t need to have the signature or the cooperation of the US citizen if you can document abuse.
You would have to produce evidence of the abuse. It could be hospital records, therapist records, photos, affidavits, if you’ve gone to special classes for abused spouses, letters from those counselors. In addition, you must supply a fair amount of evidence that the marriage was a good faith marriage. That would be bills, bank accounts, documents, photos. Even though you’re suffering a hardship, do not destroy all the evidence that you did live together because you will need this in order to file on your own.
The documentation is basically the same as if you were filing jointly; however, the requirement to file jointly is eliminated. If a spouse has been suffering abuse, there is no need to stay together and no need to wait two years before you file for the elimination of the conditional Green Card to convert it to a 10-year card. As an experienced New Jersey Immigration Lawyer, we have handled many of these cases over the years, and we would be very happy to talk to you and be of assistance.
Do you have any questions about when to file the I-751? Contact our professional New Jersey Immigration Lawyer for advice.