On April 7, 2022, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that has adopted a new risk-based approach to decide whether to interview conditional lawful permanent residents (CLPRs) who have filed I-751 petitions to remove the conditions on their residence.
In sum, the new policy will provide guidance for USCIS officers to decide whether to waive (not require) interviews for CLPRs who have filed an I-751 Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence. USCIS has also noted that this policy update will replace previous guidance that required all CLPRs to be interviewed if they obtained their CLPR status by processing at a U.S. consulate abroad.
According to USCIS, the new risk-based strategic approach will increase overall efficiency and improve processing times so USCIS can make better use of its internal resources and reduce the pending caseload while still maintaining strict procedures for protecting national security and identifying fraudulent cases.
This new policy will allow USCIS to waive the interview requirement if the officer determines that:
- There is sufficient evidence about the bona fides (evidence of legitimacy) of the marriage;
- There is no indication of fraud or misrepresentation in the file;
- There are no complex facts or issues to resolve at an interview, and
- The petitioner does not have a criminal history which makes the CLPR removable.
It should be noted that this new policy will be applied to both joint I-751 petitions AND I-751 waiver petitions based on good faith marriage, hardship, or an abusive relationship.
This new policy is a welcome development and great news for all I-751 petitioners, as it is likely to speed up processing times, clear out the pending backlog of petitions, and streamline the issues for adjudication in all I-751 petitions.
If you have questions about this article or need assistance with your I-751 Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence, contact U.S. Immigration Lawyer Sean D. Hummel to schedule a consultation.