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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawVisa NewsWhat If I'm Abroad and I Cannot File My I-751?

What If I'm Abroad and I Cannot File My I-751?

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing the I-751. That is a USCIS form. It is often referred to as a Lift of Conditions. We see this form frequently in the context of those who enter the United States in what is called Conditional Residence, or a CR-1 Visa.

These are folks who are married less than 2 years at the time of the entry of the Immigrant spouse to the United States. That Immigrant spouse is issued a 2-year Conditional Resident Visa; only the bureaucracy can come up with something as weird sounding terminology-wise as Conditional Resident Visa but that is what it is called. So in order to have your Conditional Permanent Residence converted if you will into unfettered Unconditional Lawful Permanent Residence, you need to file an I-751. We also see this in the context of folks that have gone to the United States in K-1 status. They have adjusted their K-1 Visa status into Immigrant status in the United States so they have gotten their I-551, they have become a green card holder but again they are issued Conditional Resident status for 2 years and then 90 days prior to the 2-year anniversary, they need to file an I-751 to get their conditionality lifted. 

What happens if you are stuck abroad and you can't file your I-751?  Well that is a real problem and it basically for lack of better term, it is circumstantially dependent. This is very much going to depend on the specific circumstances, the specific facts of your case so it is probably a good idea to contact a legal professional to gain some insight and guidance into how best to deal with that in your specific case but in a lot of cases that we have dealt with, unfortunately if you were abroad and couldn't get that filed, you probably dropped out of status. You may not have status anymore and now we have got to deal with somehow returning you to status. Now there are remedies possibly available for that notably it may be possible to deal with what's called an SB-1 returning resident Visa. It may be required that you go through the entire process again and emigrate back to the United States. It is going to be very case specific and fact dependent. That is why it is probably, again I know people get kind of upset at me in the comments for saying this but it is good advice. If you are stuck in this set of circumstances, it is probably a good idea to contact a legal professional and gain some insight and guidance into how best to proceed.