Going into a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office for your I-751 interview can be terrifying, to say the least. Since the stakes are extremely high, making a mistake could mean that you or your partner’s conditional resident’s status could be in jeopardy.
Fortunately, it is possible to have the interview waived and obtain approval for the I-751 petition, as long as USCIS believes the marriage is not fraudulent.
The petition is initially reviewed by a USCIS Service Center, where it can be approved without requiring the interview. However, if the petition raises any suspicions, it will be sent to the Adjudications Unit, where an adjudicator will assign a fraud level.
The following are the three levels of fraud:
- Fraud Level C - If an adjudicator assigns a fraud level C, the petition didn’t have any technical issues, there are no indications of fraud, and it is worthy of approval--without the interview.
- Fraud Level B - If an adjudicator assigns fraud level B, the petition had no technical issues and a minimum amount of supporting documents. Additionally, there is a factor which creates suspicion about the authenticity of the marriage and/or evidence.
- Fraud Level A - If an adjudicator assigns fraud level A, the petition had technical errors, a lack of evidence, a significant age difference between the spouses, the couple do not reside in the same home, or a previous I-751 was denied.
When the petition is given a fraud level, it is sent to the local district office, which assigns a percentage to the fraud level. Fraud level A cases are always interviewed. Fraud level B cases are 30 to 100 percent likely to be interviewed. Fraud level C cases are 10 to 50 percent interviewed.
In order to avoid the interview, the following are several ways to increase your chances:
- Ensure your petition is well-prepared - If there is enough evidence to prove your marriage is real, USCIS will most likely waive your interview. This means any insufficient evidence or any suspicions regarding the authenticity of the marriage is not good. Due to the complexities of this petition, it is imperative to seek legal counsel from an experienced attorney.
- Provide plenty of supporting evidence - Submit photocopies of as many documents possible to establish your marriage was entered in “good faith” and show the progress of your marriage from the beginning stages to where it is currently. Common examples include birth certificates of shared children, mortgage or lease agreements to show joint ownership/occupancy, joint financial records (e.g. bank accounts, credit cards, insurance policies, tax returns, bills, and car titles), affidavits by two people who have known both parties since conditional residency, and 10 to 20 photos of the married couple together.