Waiver of the Joint Filing Requirement

What is the process for obtaining a waiver of the joint filing requirement?

A conditional permanent resident of the United States who is unable to meet the requirements under INA Section 216, for a joint petition for the removal of the conditions of residence, may file a Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence.  In this case, you are not at fault in failing to meet the joint filing requirements if you can establish that:

  1. Deportation or removal from the U.S. would result in extreme hardship;
  2. The marriage upon which your status was based was entered into in good faith, but the marriage ended in divorce; or
  3. The marriage was entered in good faith but during the marriage you or your child was battered or subject to extreme cruelty committed by the U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse.

 

What is the filing procedure and fee for a Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence?

Your petition  must be accompanied by the appropriate fee of $505, plus an $85 biometric service fee for a total of $590, along with the request for a waiver of the joint filing requirement based on one of the exceptions above.

This application process tends to take anywhere from 8 months to 1 year to complete and for the applicant to be issued a 10 year green card. To read more about removing the conditions on your conditional green card, visit this section here.

 

What is the process for adjudicating a joint petition requirement waiver?

  • Waiver request based on claim of extreme hardship

When USCIS considers an application for a waiver based on the applicant’s claim that extreme hardship would result from his or her removal from the United States, the director shall take into account only the factors that arose subsequent to the alien’s entry as a conditional permanent resident. USCIS acknowledges that any removal from the U.S. is likely to result in a certain degree of hardship as it is, so only in those cases where the hardship is extreme should the application waiver be granted. The burden of establishing this extreme hardship rests solely on the applicant. [INA Section 216, Paragraph (e)(1)]

 

Extreme Hardship

 

  • Waiver request based on claim that the marriage was entered into in good faith but ended for natural reasons

USCIS considers all relevant evidence relating to the amount of commitment by both parties to the marital relationship when considering whether or not the married was entered into in good faith and not solely for immigration purposes. Such evidence may include:

  • Documentation relating to the degree to which the financial assets and liabilities of the parties were combined;
  • Documentation concerning the length of time during which the parties cohabitated after the marriage and after the alien obtained permanent residence;
  • Birth certificates of children born to the marriage; and
  • Other evidence and documents deemed relevant by the USCIS director.

Our Los Angeles immigration attorneys have successfully helped hundreds of applicants obtain a waiver of the joint filing requirement. We have designed a page specifically to help our clients see what evidence USCIS considers when reviewing a waiver request. Please visit our page here for more details.

  • Waiver request based on claim of being battered or subjected to extreme cruelty by spouse

A conditional lawful permanent resident who entered into the qualifying marriage in good faith but was subjected to abuse or extreme cruelty or whose child was subjected to abuse or extreme cruelty by the United States citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse, may request a waiver of the joint filing requirement of the petition. The conditional resident must submit documentation to establish that he or she were subjected to abuse or extreme cruelty.

Please visit our page for petition documents for assistance in what to submit to establish the abuse or extreme cruelty. [LINK TO Petition  DOCS]

 

VAWA Control Wheel

 

Will my request for a waiver of the joint filing requirement be approved?

The USCIS director has discretion over which waiver of the joint filing requirement is approved or denied and decides on a case-by-case basis. The director will provide the applicant with written notice of the decision on the application for waiver. The director will inform the alien as to whether the termination of his or her permanent resident status has occurred, instruct the alien to surrender any lawful permanent resident Green Card issued by USCIS and could send the alien a Notice to Appear (NTA) informing the alien that he or she has been placed into removal/deportation proceedings.

When filing a request for a waiver of the joint filing requirement of the petition  it is important to consult with an experienced immigration lawyer to ensure that the above does not happen and so the applicant may obtain a 10 year Green Card. Contact our U.S. immigration lawyer now for a FREE consultation and see how we can help you!

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