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USCIS Updates Criteria for Conducting Conditional Permanent Resident Interviews

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Pasricha & Patel

USCIS has announced that starting on April 7, 2022, it is updating its policy and relying on a risk-based approach when waiving interviews for conditional permanent residents (CPR) who have filed their I-751 Petition to Remove the Conditions on their permanent resident status.

Foreign nationals who obtain lawful permanent resident status based on marriage that was entered into less than two (2) years before achieving LPR status receive their permanent resident status on conditional basis for a period of two (2) years. In order to remove the conditions of permanent resident status, these CPRs have to file a Form I-751 with the USCIS within the 90-day period before the two (2) year anniversary of when they first obtained CPR status.

Previously, in 2018, USCIS had implemented policy guidelines that required all CPRs to undergo an interview as part of their I-751 petition filing process unless the interview is waived by USCIS.

USCIS has finally decided that such a blanket policy is not an efficient use of USCIS’s resources after all.

USCIS’s policy change will also help to reduce caseloads while still continuing to identify fraud and address national security concerns.

With the new policy update, USCIS adjudicating officers will be able to use the following criteria when deciding on waiving the interview requirement:

  1. If there is sufficient evidence about the bona fides of the marriage;
  2. The joint-filing requirement is eligible for a waiver (if applicable);
  3. There is no indication of fraud or misrepresentation in supporting documents that the I-751 petition has included as part of the filing;
  4. There are no complex facts or issues to resolve;
  5. There is no criminal history that would result in CPR being removed from the U.S.

Do note that this still means that CPR/I-751 applicants should make sure to provide as much details in their supporting documentation as part of their I-751 filing.

At the same time, this announcement by USCIS is certainly welcome news for all CPRs who have either already filed their I-751 petitions, or for those who are getting ready to file their I-751 petitions. Importantly, this should help to clear the massive backlogs that pending I-751 petitions currently face, with processing times of up to two (2) years.

It is not known how soon this policy change will have on bringing down the long processing times of the I-751 petition, so we will have to continue to monitor the situation as it develops. We recommend readers to check back on this site with any further updates on this matter.

Should you have any questions about the I-751 filing process and any specific questions about your own case, we recommend you contact our office to schedule consultation so we can discuss your matter in more detail.