20 Dec Jointly Filed I-751 Petition Approved for Spouses Living Apart Due to Financial/Employment Considerations
Our immigration lawyers received approval of a Form I-751, Joint Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence, where the spouses were living in different cities due to financial/employment considerations. When an individual receives a green card based upon a marriage that is less than 2 years old the green card is only valid for 2 years. The individual must timely file Form I-751 Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence to become a Lawful Permanent Resident without conditions. For a jointly filed I-751 Petition the time period in which to file is within the 90 days prior to the expiration date of the green card. If the I-751 Petition is not timely filed the permanent resident status will be terminated by operation of law and the individual could be placed in removal proceedings before an Immigration Judge. The most common way to file Form I-751 is to file jointly with the spouse.
In this case, the couple was not “separated” or having marital difficulties but was living apart due to financial and employment considerations. At the time of the wife obtaining her green card, both her and her husband had been unemployed. The husband had lost his job with a major employer, forcing him to seek work anywhere he could find it in order to have money to live and support his wife and a child from a previous marriage. The husband found a well-paying job in Puerto Rico and his wife remained in Philadelphia, working 3 part time jobs for additional support. The wife’s income was needed and she did not want to give up her employment in Philadelphia and move to Puerto Rico where it was likely she would be unable to find work. The wife had visited her husband once in Puerto Rico, and her husband had visited her in Philadelphia on several occasions, but due to the husband travelling with standby boarding tickets given to him by a friend, who, as an airline employee received a plan allowing friends and family to travel for discounted prices, there was no record of the husband’s visits to Philadelphia.
Due to the couple living apart and the lack of travel documentation, additional information was compiled by our immigration attorneys pertaining to the bona fide nature of their marriage to submit to USCIS. This included: previously submitted G-325As showing both petitioners had been unemployed, certified copies of the husband’s employment history in Puerto Rico including employment verification from the husband’s employer in Puerto Rico, jointly filed tax returns, driver’s licenses listing the same martial address, bank statements, copies of emails and phone records between the petitioners, family photographs, and affidavits from family members attesting to the bona fide nature of the marriage. Additionally, evidence was included that the husband had been continually looking for a new job in Philadelphia so that he could return to Philadelphia to live with his wife.
Based on the evidence compiled by the attorneys at Getson & Schatz P.C., the I-751 Petition was approved by UCSIS and the wife became a Lawful Permanent Resident of the United States without conditions.