Received A Request For Evidence (RFE) For Removal Of Conditions Petition
The removal of conditions process (ROC) can be lengthy and time consuming. Even if you are not required to attend an interview, it can take 6-12 months to be approved for your 10 year green card. A request for evidence (RFE) for removal of conditions will definitely delay the approval process but you can overcome it.
To have your removal of conditions petition approved quickly make sure to include as much evidence of a bona fide marriage as possible. This can seem frustrating because there is not guarantee that the evidence your provide will be enough, but it is the best option you have to ensure smooth case processing.
Although there is a lot of information about U.S. immigration and the paperwork that you need, it is not specific to your case. The guidance you receive from the USCIS website is for general information but if your case is complicated, you will need to figure out what evidence you will need to provide for your own case.
Why Did I Receive An RFE For My Removal Of Conditions?
You will receive a letter from the USCIS that will provide you with an explanation of the evidence that they need to continue processing your case. Sometimes these requests ask for something you may have already submitted.
As frustrating as this is, submit the evidence again but this time offer any new evidence that you have up until this date. Even if you have to submit the exact same documentation, it could be that the USCIS has lost of your paperwork but won’t admit to it.
Another reason that someone who has provided ample evidence would receive an RFE is if the adjudicator wants to push back your application to work on their backlogged cases. In this situation, an RFE would give the adjudicator more time to catch up.
However, if you know that you have not submitted enough evidence, you likely received an RFE because the adjudicator cannot approve your I-751 application until you provide this specific evidence.
Common Evidence That Is Required Before Approval Of I-751
- Marriage certificate
- Tax transcripts (2 years)
- Evidence of joint finances
- Evidence of joint residence
- Birth certificates for children
I recommend that you review your entire case and determine exactly what is missing that is important. There are other forms of evidence that you could include such as photos, affidavits from family/friends, bills, and trips together.
I Have No Evidence Of Financial Co-Mingling With My Spouse
Evidence of financial co-mingling is extremely important to the adjudicator because it shows that your marriage is genuine. Most people trying to commit immigration fraud are less likely to share bank accounts, credit cards, mortgages, auto loans and investment accounts.
The USCIS knows that this is a big red flag in any case. If you have no joint financial ties to your spouse, then you should expect an RFE which will put your case on hold.
The problem with this type of evidence is that you cannot back date it. If you and your spouse never opened a joint bank account, you cannot just open one after an RFE and use it as evidence. You are likely out of luck and will need to respond with a good explanation about why you are not sharing any financial accounts with your spouse.
Good Reasons For Lack Of Co-mingling Finances
- Your or your spouse have wages are being garnished
- You or your spouse have extremely bad credit
- You or your spouse owe taxes to the IRS and file separately
- You or your spouse owe child support that is being garnished
As you can see, all of these scenarios are not good but the USCIS does not enforce any of these laws so you shouldn’t worry about being denied due to owing taxes or child support.
However, you will need to get these things cleared up before you apply for citizenship because it will matter then. You may not be approved for naturalization if you owe taxes to the IRS or if you have not filed your taxes are any point during your residence in the U.S.
My Spouse An I Were Living Apart Right Before Removal Of Conditions
Living separately is also considered a red flag to the adjudicator. If you do not have any evidence during a long period of time before you applied for the I-751 petition, you will need to include an explanation.
It is always best to be honest in these situations instead of hiding the fact that you and your spouse lived apart. Lying is one of the worst things you can do during the immigration process because you will be accused of misrepresentation which can lead to a green card denial.
The USCIS understands that marriages are not perfect, but they also want to make sure that they are not approving cases that are truly fraudulent. If you separation was less than a couple of weeks, you may not need to provide an explanation.
However, if you were separated for months to years, you should submit a detailed explanation of what happened and whether you both are planning to divorce. As long as you can provide evidence that you entered the marriage in good faith, you should be okay.
Generally it is easier to get approved for the 10 year green card after you have been approved for the 2-year green card. This is because you already have evidence built up for your case. But, it is not guaranteed so make sure to front-load your I-751 petition as much as you can to be on the safe side.