Guidance on Late Filed I-751 Petitions

May 20th, 2010 by Brian D. Zuccaro

The Vermont Service Center provided some insight into their approach in adjudicating untimely and late filed I-751 petitions. The information provided intimates that some explanation should be provided for the late filing or the I-751 could be denied without an RFE.The guidance also intimates that the burden on proving the bona fides of the marriage will be that much higher for late I-751 filings.

The guidance is found at AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 10051861 and reads:

Since the release of the October 2009 Neufeld Memo on the adjudication of untimely filed joint I-751 petitions, the Vermont Service Center (VSC) has required Conditional Permanent Resident (CPR) applicants to include an explanation demonstrating good cause and extenuating circumstances for the failure to timely file (AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 09110667). At the April 6, 2010, VSC Stakeholder Meeting, VSC indicated that examples of good cause include hospitalization, death of a family member, long-term illness, recent birth of child (especially if there were complications), and family member in active duty.

¬†Vermont Service Center Director Renaud indicated that the Immigration Service Officers (ISO) may consider the extenuating circumstances in conjunction with the bona fides of the marriage. In other words, the ISO may apply an easier standard on determining “extenuating circumstances” for CPRs who have strong, irrefutable evidence of a shared life (e.g. children).

 Further guidance from HQ, the VSC will deny, without first issuing an RFE, late-filed joint petitions where the CPR provided no written explanation. On a case-by-case basis, the Service may also issue an NTA.

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