The way for a conditional permanent resident to seek a waiver of the joint filing requirement (so that you can file Form I-751 on your own) is to attach a statement requesting a waiver into your I-752 application package, state the ground or grounds for your request, and include evidence for your eligibility together with your I-751 petition.
You can assert as many grounds as might apply to your current conditional resident status. Following are some of the most popular grounds for a conditional permanent resident to seek an I-751 joint-filing waiver.
The death of your spouse
Obviously, your spouse cannot sponsor you for the modification of your conditional resident status if he or she dies between the date your green card is issued and the date by which you must submit a Form I-751 petition to have your conditional resident status converted to bona fide permanent resident status.
The end of a marriage by death is looked at completely differently by the USCIS then the end of a marriage by divorce. In this case, you can submit a certified copy of your spouse’s death certificate to prove the death of your spouse.
A waiver based on divorce or annulment
If you divorce during the two-year period between the time your conditional green card is issued and the time you are required to file a Form I-751 petition for the removal of the conditions on Form I-751; or if your marriage is annulled during that time, you will need to seek a waiver of the requirement to file Form I-751 jointly with your spouse.
Remember that if you are no longer married, your ex-spouse cannot jointly file Form I-751 with you even if he is willing to do so, meaning that a waiver is an absolute necessity for the conversion of your conditional residency to bona fide permanent residency.
Reasons for divorce
“I divorced my spouse because I no longer needed his cooperation to obtain a green card” is, quite naturally, not an acceptable reason for divorce in the eyes of US immigration officials. Some of the reasons that are (or could be considered legitimate include the following:
- No-fault divorce: Most US divorces are “no-fault”, meaning that all it takes to get a divorce is for one party to cite “irreconcilable differences” in order to secure a divorce, even over the other spouse’s objections. An example of an irreconcilable difference would be, for example, if one spouse wants to have children but the other spouse doesn’t.
- “Fault” divorce: A minority of divorces are based on fault, and only a few states allow fault-based divorces. The most common grounds for fault-based divorce include physical or mental cruelty, adultery, and abandonment.