Once you have filed your I-751 petition to remove conditions on your permanent residency, the USCIS will mail you a letter stating its approval or denial. If denied, the letter will state the reasoning for the decision accompanied by a Notice to Appear (“NTA”) in the immigration court for removal proceedings. Once you are placed in deportation, remember you must attend your hearing. However, you should view this procedure as a chance for your case to be fully heard and given a second opportunity to get your conditional status removed.
Keep in mind, once your I-751 is denied, your lawful permanent residency is terminated. Therefore, you will no longer be authorized to work or travel, and your continued residency within the US is at high risk. For these reasons, it is necessary to be proactive in preparing and filing a polished, thorough petition to avoid denial and having your case put through removal proceedings.
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Common Reasons for Denied I-751
Insufficient evidence of a bona fide marriage: It is the petitioner’s burden of proof to establish that the marriage was entered in good faith and not for purposes of evading immigration law. The USCIS has discretion to deny your petition if there is not strong evidence to show the genuine marriage. Therefore, it is essential to assemble substantive supporting documents (photos, financial statements, affidavits, etc.) in order to support your claim.
Improper filing: There is a strict timeframe in which you must file your application. If you file too early, your petition will be rejected. If you file too late, your petition will be denied and you will be placed in removal proceedings. In some instances, you may be able to turn in your petition prior to your case being transferred to immigration court, but you must provide good justification on why you filed late.
You are unqualified: Underlying factors may bear reason to why your application is denied. Marriage fraud, immigration violations, and a criminal record that designates inadmissibility to the US are primary disqualifications of approving your petition. In some cases, petitioners are unaware that their divorce must be final prior to filing their I-751. As a result, not including the final divorce judgment as a supporting document may affect your applications approval or denial. It is beneficial to your case to retain an immigration attorney to assist you throughout the process.
According to 8 CFR §216.4(d)(2), there are no administrative appeals for denied I-751s. However, you will be given the opportunity to present and renew your petition in front of the immigration judge when you attend your removal hearing.
Due to many immigration courts being backlogged, it could take months to years until your hearing is scheduled. In addition, during this waiting period, you cannot work or travel due to your US residency being expired. In light of these circumstances, you may file a second petition prior to when your hearing is scheduled. There is no limitation on how many times a person may file an I-751.
The general rule is that any successive petition must have new evidence that defeats the basis for any prior petition’s denial. If you are facing deportation on the grounds of an I-751 denial, seek assistance from an experienced immigration attorney to analyze your case and guide you through options on how you can present your eligibility to receive lawful permanent residency status.