I-751 Based on Good Faith Marriage Waiver Approved for Irvine Client
We just received an approval notice for one of our Irvine client’s I-751 Application to Remove Conditions on Permanent Residence. We filed the case as a non-joint petition and requested a good faith waiver. Our client married his wife in good faith, but the couple separated due to religious differences, not being able to spend enough time together, and financial stress.
We provided USCIS with over 200 pages of evidence to prove the marriage was entered into in good faith. With our help, our client prepared a detailed declaration describing how he met his wife, when they fell in love, the wedding, and when the relationship started to deteriorate. We provided written statements from friends and neighbors attesting to the couple’s marriage along with a declaration from the couple’s pastor that tried to help them reconcile.
In the 1980s, Congress became concerned about marriage fraud. There were many stories about aliens marrying US citizens merely to obtain a green card, and Congress passed the Marriage Fraud Amendments of 1986. Under the new law, couples that were married less than two years at the time of admission into permanent resident status would be required to file additional evidence of good faith marriage two years later. INA 216 also contains a waiver provision because Congress realized that under some circumstances, the alien should not be forced to leave the country merely because the marriage fell apart after a couple of years. Despite the best intentions, marriages sometimes do not last. The Marriage Fraud Amendments were not meant to punish unlucky marriages; they were created to ferret out fraudulent marriages.
In general, when dealing with an I-751 petition to remove conditions on permanent residence via a good faith marriage waiver, weight is not given to who filed for the divorce. Initially, the statute required that the alien had to be the moving party in the divorce proceedings. That language was removed because Congress did not want to create a race to the altar scenario. Additionally, it does not matter if the alien’s spouse entered the marriage in good faith. The alien’s intent is relevant. In some cases, the US citizen spouse might have ulterior motives for entering the marriage, but only the alien’s intentions are relevant. Oftentimes, USCIS will look at the property settlement agreement to determine good faith intent.
For more information on the laws pertaining to the I-751, click here.
In this case, we were confident that we could get the case approved by the time we compiled all the evidence. Our client was well-organized and kept many records to show good faith marriage. He prepared an excellent declaration that told the story of how he fell in love with his wife and why the marriage did not work out.
If USCIS denies the I-751, the alien can have the decision reviewed by an immigration judge. During that time, the alien remains a lawful permanent resident and may continue to work and travel abroad (in most cases). We have successfully handled I-751 cases in court as well. We have also handled many I-751 waivers based on extreme hardship and domestic violence.
If you are currently in the I-751 process, contact The Nunez Firm to schedule a consultation. We handled many I-751 cases every year including joint petitions, waivers and I-751 cases in immigration court. Managing attorney Jay Nunez will personally meet with you to help you better understand the process and how we can help you.