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USCIS Releases Revised Policy Providing Interview Waiver Guidance for Form I-751

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On November 30, 2018, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a policy memorandum that provides guidance to USCIS officers on waiving the interview requirement for Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence.

This memo went into effect on December 10 and applies to all Form I-751 petitions received on or after December 10, 2018.  This policy memorandum revises and replaces the June 24, 2005 memorandum, “Revised Interview Waiver Criteria for Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence.”

Generally, a conditional permanent residence must attend an in-person interview with USCIS, before the I-751 petition is approved, but in some instances an immigration officer may decide to waive the interview requirement. The new policy memorandum outlines under what circumstances an immigration officer may consider granting an interview waiver.

The purpose of the interview is to provide USCIS with an opportunity to verify information contained the petition or application, as well as an opportunity to discover new information that may be relevant to the adjudication or determine the credibility of the applicant seeking to remove their conditions.

USCIS may waive the requirement for an interview and adjudicate the I-751 application without conducting an in-person interview under the following circumstances:

*these considerations apply regardless of whether Form I-751 is filed as a joint petition or as a waiver of the joint filing requirement

  • Where the officer is satisfied that they can make a decision based on the record because it contains sufficient evidence about the bona fides of the marriage and that the marriage was not entered into for the purpose of evading the immigration laws of the United States;
  • For Form I-751 cases received on/after December 10, 2018, USCIS has previously interviewed the I-751 principal petitioner (for example, for a Form I-485 or Form I-130);
  • There is no indication of fraud or misrepresentation in the Form I-751 or the supporting documentation; and
  • There are no complex facts or issues that require an interview to resolve questions or concerns

Special Cases—Overseas Holds where the Petitioner and/or Spouse Live Outside the United States

Under the revised policy, “if the petitioner and/or spouse live outside the United States, the case is held for a reasonable amount of time until the return of the petitioner and/or spouse to the United States, and they are able to provide a U.S. address. USCIS will resume processing of the Form I-751 if the conditional permanent resident notifies USCIS that he/she has returned to the United States.”

To read the revised policy memorandum please click here.