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Waiver of Joint Filing Requirement (I-751)

Updated: Apr 7, 2023

For people who obtained a conditional green card after marrying a U.S. citizen in good faith, sometimes there are changes in the circumstances that require them to apply for removal of conditions of their 2-year green card, without the cooperation of the U.S. citizen spouse.

One of the ways that a conditional permanent resident can request a waiver of the joint filing requirement, that is, to be able to file Form I-751 on their own, is to attach a statement requesting a “waiver” stating the reason(s) for your request and including proof of your eligibility.

Some of the most common reasons for a conditional permanent resident to seek a joint waiver on their I-751 are:

Divorce or marital annulment

If the divorce was completed during the two-year period between the time your conditional permanent resident green card was issued and your Form I-751 was filed; or your spousal relationship is terminated during this time, you will need to apply for a waiver of the requirement to file Form I-751 jointly with your spouse.

Extreme Cruelty / Abuse by U.S. citizen spouse

The range of conduct for extreme cruelty is determined based on the circumstances of each case. It can be focused on emotional and psychological abuse by the petitioner spouse, but also include physical abuse.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How can I show that my marriage was originally entered in good faith and not simply for immigration benefit?

Some ways you can strengthen your case by proving your marriage in good faith may include:

- Documentation of marriage counseling (record of sessions is a good example).

- A personal statement describing how you met your spouse, why you got married, and how you feel about your spouse (all mixed emotions are considered normal).

- Birth certificate of the children you had together.

- Legal documents showing shared or joint bank accounts, title to real estate, and similar arrangements.

- Documents showing that one of you is the beneficiary of the life insurance policy or retirement plan of the other.

- A personal ID, such as your spouse's or ex-spouse's driver's license.

How can I prove that I was a victim of assault or cruelty by my spouse during my marriage?

Assaults fall under a range of physical conduct, but do not require visible physical injuries. Extreme cruelty, on the other hand, is defined as behavior that is cruel but does not fall under assault. Some examples can be:

- Threat of filing a complaint against the authorities with the intention of controlling the spouse.

- Threatens to harm you or your children; even if the threat was never carried out.

- Withholding money or food as a means of control

- Prevent you from communicating with family or friends

During your statement you should provide as many details as possible about your spouse's behavior in this situation. Medical, psychological, and police reports will greatly strengthen your application, as will affidavits from social workers and photographs of any injuries.

How can I support my case for a waiver?

Another way to establish your eligibility through an I-751 waiver so that your conditional residence can proceed to bona fide permanent residence is to demonstrate that you consider it dangerous to return to your country of origin. In order to proceed under this provision, consideration should be given to gathering the following evidence:

  • If you have been a victim of abuse, you may use your personal statement to describe your need for psychological, legal, medical, and other support services that are available in the United States but not in your home country.

  • If your abuser is allowed to travel to your home country, it can point to the lack of effective restraining orders in your country.

  • You can mention the harmful social stigmas and economic hardships divorced women experience if applied in their home country.

  • If you have friends or anyone who can testify on your behalf, either in the United States or abroad, who know what would happen to you if you returned to your home country, you can also provide letters of support, preferably in the form of Notarized affidavits.


It's important to work with an immigration attorney in this process. We have the experience and knowledge to combat any difficulty along the way and achieve the best result. Reach out to our Facebook page if you need more ideas or resources. Follow us to stay up to date @AbogadaYeseniaTV and share this post with whoever wants to know more. You can also explore this site and share it, along with our contact: (909) 845-1183. To send your questions confidentially, you can do it here.

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