USCIS announced that USCIS officers are now instructed to waive interviews for Conditional Permanent Residents (CPRs) who timely file a Form I-751 and support it with the appropriate evidence. This guidance replaces previous protocols requiring most CPRs to attend an interview and making an interview mandatory for those who received their status via consular processing. 

Conditional Permanent Residents are individuals who are issued a two-year green card by USCIS, typically based on a recent marriage. When an applicant is issued Permanent Residence based on marriage, and the marriage occurred within two years of the green card being issued, USCIS only issues a two-year conditional permanent resident card. At the expiration of the two years, the applicant then needs to petition for the ten-year green card (known as removal of the conditions) by filing Form I-751. Along with the form, the applicant and foreign national spouse provide evidence of the continued marital relationship to USCIS. 

These applicants were previously required to appear for in-person interviews with a USCIS officer in order to be granted the ten-year green card. However, this change in policy will allow these cases to be approved without an interview. USCIS Director, Ur M. Jaddou, explained, “This update is consistent with agency priorities to break down barriers in the immigration system, eliminate undue burdens on those seeking benefits, and effectively respond to stakeholder feedback and public concerns.” 

Although USCIS also issues conditional permanent resident status to certain entrepreneur adjustment applications, this process and guidance focuses on conditional permanent residence on green cards based on marriage.

This move is a welcome change towards faster processing times for applications submitted to USCIS, as the organization is facing unprecedented backlogs due to their brief shutdown during the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to the pandemic, USCIS was also facing staffing shortages due to a lack of government supported funding and rising numbers of applications. The policy shift towards allowing officers to adjudicate these I-751 applications to remove conditions without an interview will allow for faster adjudication of these petitions, and more stability for applicants moving through the multi-step immigration process in the United States. 

If you have any questions regarding this policy change, please contact Marisabel Alonso at malonso@gands-us.com or Stephen Antwine at santwine@gands-us.com

Author

  • Marisabel Alonso is an Associate Attorney based at Green and Spiegel's Philadelphia office. She specializes in Family-Based Immigration petitions and Removal Defense cases before Immigration Court.

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