How to File a Waiver when a Marriage Between a U.S. Citizen and an Immigrant Ends in Divorce


If you have received a two-year conditional permanent resident card based on the condition that you married a U.S. citizen, you must remove the conditions on the green card before the expiration date. If the marriage between a U.S. citizen and an immigrant has ended in divorce, you may seek a waiver.

In order to remove the conditions, you must apply for a Form I-751 Application for Removal of Conditions.

You will usually file this petition jointly with your spouse but you may seek a “waiver” of the requirement to jointly file if you are no longer married to the US Citizen spouse who you obtained conditional permanent residence through.

In cases where immigrants are no longer married to the US Citizen spouse through which they originally gained conditional permanent resident status, it’s more difficult to prove you entered the marriage in good faith.

divorce graphic

How to file a waiver after a divorce

These applications are known as I-751 Waivers. The applicant must request a waiver of the joint-filing requirement.

It stands to reason that immigration officials will more carefully scrutinize I-751 waiver applications than if they are filed jointly with your spouse. They will look for evidence that the original marriage was not bona fide.

You should not assume your application will be refused. However, it’s imperative to prepare a strong application with numerous documents proving that you entered your marriage in good faith even though it failed.

Relevant documents include photographs with your former spouse, evidence of continuous cohabitation with your former spouse, evidence of joint finances, as well as liabilities and other shared assets.

If you fail to satisfy the immigration officer with the supporting documentation, or you claimed abuse during the marriage, you may be scheduled for an interview.

In the case of I-751 waiver, preparation is vital. A strong application backed with plenty of supporting documentation will help your case. An experienced Austin permanent residency lawyer will help your case by advising you on the appropriate documentation you will need.

The typical processing time for these waiver applications ranges from six months to a year, depending on the complexity of your case. In some cases, I-751 waiver applications may take longer than 12 months to be decided.

For a consultation contact our Austin family immigration lawyers here or call us today at (512) 399-2311.

Share To: