Now, we are back to USCIS paperwork processing after almost a 2-year hiatus! This time, you must file Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence (ROC) in order to continue to legally stay in the United States. During this process, the Conditional Permanent Resident (CPR; Defined as a person who were issued a 2-year Green Card based on Marriage) and dependent children, will submit USCIS Form I-751 jointly with the Spouse (I-129F Petitioner / Primary AOS Sponsor) if still married, or apply for an individual petition based on conditions such as death or divorce. (I will not discuss the latter nor provide steps for it. You can read more about that on the I-751 Instructions PDF available on the USCIS Website and this USCIS Page on Removing Conditions based on Marriage.)
Your 2-year Permanent Resident Card was issued to you after a successful Adjustment of Status (From a K1 Visa). Before this 2-year Green Card expires, you are required to file this petition to continue your permanent residency in the United States. Just like AOS, I-751 Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence (ROC) is proving that you entered the marriage in good faith. This means, you will have to provide proof about anything and everything about your marriage, approximately 2.5 years worth of evidences.
Yes. This is required. You have been reminded by USCIS at the receipt of your I-551 Permanent Resident Card that you would need to file for a petition to remove the conditions on your card within 90 days of its expiry. This is to ensure that you are allowed to stay in the United States legally. You will also be reminded by USCIS through mail approximately 120 days before your 2-year Permanent Resident Card expires.
NO. You have to file WITHIN 90 days, NOT even a day before that. USCIS will return your ROC Application Package to you if you do not obey that rule. Again, you must file your ROC within 90 days of your 2-year Conditional Green Card’s expiration date. WITHIN, NOT BEFORE.
This will result into the termination of your Conditional Permanent Resident (CPR) Status and USCIS will start removal proceedings against you.
3. Failure to File or Denial of the Petition to Remove Conditions
The CPR status of an applicant is terminated and he or she must be placed into removal proceedings if:
– The applicant fails to file the petition to remove conditions; or
– If the petition to remove conditions is filed, but the petition is denied. 
It’s pretty much straightforward. Download the USCIS Form I-751, complete and sign it with your spouse. Read the I-751 instructions on the USCIS website and include the required evidences. You will get notified by USCIS in the mail that they have received your Joint I-751 Petition. Sometime later, you will get a biometrics and an interview appointment. Accomplish the biometrics appointment and show up for the interview. After successfully completing paperwork and being approved at the interview, you will receive your 10-year Green Card (that you will need to renew further down the road if you decide to opt out of Naturalization).
Yes. If given an appointment for an interview, you and your spouse will be required to show up for an interview to detemine eligibility for the 10-year Green Card. HOWEVER, if you provide enough evidence on your ROC Package, USCIS may waive this interview and approve your petition, and send your 10-year Green Card directly to you.
If your application is denied, USCIS will place you in removal proceedings. You can appeal your case if your petition is denied.
How to Appeal
If your application to remove the conditions on your permanent residence is denied, you will receive a letter that will tell you why the application was denied. The process to remove you from the country will begin as soon as your application is denied. You will be allowed to have an immigration judge review the denial of your application during removal proceedings. During this review, we must prove that the facts on your application were untruthful and/or that your application was properly denied. If the immigration judge decides to remove you from the country, you may appeal this decision.
Generally, you may appeal within 30 days after the immigration judge decides to remove you from the country. After your appeal form and a required fee are processed, the appeal will be referred to the Board of Immigration Appeals in Washington, D.C.
NO. You absolutely must NOT delay this process. You have had almost 2.5 years (912 days) to prepare and save up $590 for this process. (That’s less than $0.65 per day. You’ll come out ahead if you save $1 a day. The extra money you can use for printing / shipping the documents.) Simply not having the money and resources to file this on time is not an excuse.
If in ANY CASE something happens and you can prove a good cause for this delay, you will have to send a formal letter to the director of the appropriate Service Center. To better understand the consequences, this excerpt is taken directly from the USCIS Website.
If You Are Late In Applying To Remove The Conditions On Residence
If you fail to properly file Form I-751 within the 90-day period before your second anniversary as a conditional resident:
- Your conditional resident status will automatically be terminated and we will begin removal proceedings against you:
- You will receive a notice from us telling you that you have failed to remove the conditions
You will receive a Notice to Appear at a hearing. At the hearing you may review and rebut the evidence against you. You are responsible for proving that you complied with the requirements (we are not responsible for proving that you did not comply with the requirements)
The Form I-751 can be filed after the 90-day period if you can prove in writing to the director of the appropriate Service Center that there was good cause for failing to file the petition on time. The director has the discretion to approve the petition and restore your permanent resident status.
The ROC Process typically lasts for 6 months from NOA1. Some are VERY lucky to have completed the process within 3 months. Some, due to backlog, will have to endure the process for more than 6 months.
Based on my experience, these are the forms and documents needed for the Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence. Make sure you label the documents inside your packet for easy handling!
Do check back once in a while as this is an on-going process for me since February 2016. These pages will be updated as we go along with the process in the next few months.
Below are links to the Official USCIS Pages discussing Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence (ROC):