I-751 Pitfalls

The Pitfalls outline the issues common in I-751 cases that either lead to an RFE or have resulted in an RFE. By implementing the Keys to Success from the beginning, these Pitfalls can be avoided.

Pitfall #1: Poor Planning

  • No joint documents from the marriage
  • Failed to change home address
  • No wedding ceremony, reception or celebration
  • Families never met
  • No social media to display relationship

Each of these reasons makes cause for a more difficult application process.  Without these pieces of evidence, you will likely need an attorney to build a strong case for you.

Pitfall #2: Late Filing

A jointly filed I-751 petition must be filed within the 90-day period immediately preceding the second

anniversary of the CPR’s admission or adjustment. The consequences of late filing could result in losing conditional resident status and being removed from the U.S.

Filing a joint I-751 petition after the second anniversary of the CPR’s admission or adjustment may be considered only if the CPR is able to demonstrate “good cause” and extenuating circumstances for the failure to timely file.

USCIS has broad powers (or discretion) to determine the meaning of “good cause” for filing late, and will approach such applications on a case-by-case basis. The following are examples of “good cause”:

  • Hospitalization or long-term illness
  • Obligations or grief related to the death of a family member
  • Legal or financial problems
  • Having to care for someone (such as an ailing spouse)
  • Serious family emergency
  • Work commitment, or
  • Having a family member in active duty with the U.S. military

Other circumstances could certainly fall under the definition of “good cause.” It will be up to you to identify and prove it was beyond your ability to control.

WHAT WE DO: Our attorneys will help you prepare documentation and a persuasive statement to explain why you have “good cause” and why you should be able to file your I-751 Form.

Pitfall #3: Submitting Wrong or Conflicting Documentation

  • Prenuptial agreement indicates no intention on commingling assets
  • Emails and texts that suggest business relationship rather than marital life
  • Multiple addresses
  • Undeclared previous marriages
  • Wedding pictures from a courthouse
  • Too many documents
  • Previous submission
  • Separate bank accounts that show significant amounts transferred

Certain clients have submitted conflicting evidence unintentionally, and once evidence has been submitted it cannot be withdrawn or altered. This makes it much more difficult, but Tsang and Associates is willing to help even after clients find themselves experiencing such Pitfalls.