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Can A Conditional Resident File For Naturalization While I-751 is Pending – Immigration Lawyer New York
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Can A Conditional Resident File For Naturalization While I-751 is Pending

By Michael H. Markovitch, Esq on July, 23, 2018

A spouse of a U.S. citizen typically obtains conditional residency for a 2-year period if the green card was issued within two years of the marriage. During the 90-day period prior to the expiration of the conditional residency period, the US citizen spouse and foreign spouse have to apply for removal of the conditions on residence by filing a Form I-751 petition.
 
It can now take up to two years for the USCIS to approve the I-751. In the meantime, the spouse of the US citizen may be reluctant to apply for naturalization although he or she is eligible to file for such an application two years nine months after the initial grant of the lawful permanent status. Due to the enormous delays in processing the I-751, the foreign spouse loses time for purposes of filing a naturalization application.
 
Recently, the USCIS  has issued an advisory that it is permissible for a conditional resident to apply for naturalization while a Form I-751 application is pending with the USCIS.
 
As a result, conditional resident spouses can apply when they become eligible for citizenship, which is 2 years and 9 months from the date of receiving the conditional residency. This is the case even if the I-751 application remains pending.
 
What if the spouse’s naturalization interview comes up before the I-751 application is approved?
 
Based on the USCIS’s advisory, the citizenship application cannot be denied on the basis that the I-751 is pending. It is most likely that the naturalization officer will put the application on hold until the I-751 application is approved. Conditional resident spouses can therefore apply for citizenship in a timely manner, and hopefully have their I-751 applications approved before the citizenship interview.
 
Please feel free to contact Michael H. Markovitch for any questions you may have regarding this article.
 

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