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Wednesday, December 28, 2005

I've been doing research on my Form I-751. To explain the form's purpose in layman's terms: for the first two years, my Green Card has certain restrictions placed on it, such as the length of time I can be outside of the country. 90 days before the two-year anniversary of my permanent residence (November 3, 2006), I have to file an I-751 to have these restrictions removed. I don't have to file until August, but if there's one thing I've learnt about dealing with the BCIS, it's learn early, and learn a lot.

I found a handy page on the official Immigration website. My favorite part about the procedure is what happens if you file the I-751 late (or maybe even early):
If you fail to properly file the Form I-751 (Petition to Remove the Conditions on Residence) within the 90-day period before your second anniversary as a conditional resident, your conditional resident status will automatically be terminated and the USCIS will order removal proceedings against you. You will receive a notice from the USCIS telling you that you have failed to remove the conditions, and you will also receive a Notice to Appear at a hearing. At the hearing you may review and rebut the evidence against you. You are responsible for proving that you complied with the requirements (the USCIS is not responsible for proving that you did not comply with the requirements).

Just reading that makes me break out in a sweat. I may have to work my trip to Australia next year around the filing, because despite the fact there's supposedly a "90-day period," I would like to file my I-751 exactly 90 days before November 3.

Of course, filing the form is a pain in the arse, complete with a $205 filing fee. We have to present new evidence that our relationship is genuine. In additions to bank statements, leases, loan papers, and birth certificates of children (whoops, forgot to get those), this includes:
Affidavits sworn to or affirmed by at least two people who have known both of you since your conditional residence was granted and have personal knowledge of your marriage and relationship. (Such persons may be required to testify before an immigration officer as to the information contained in the affidavit.) The original affidavit must be submitted and also contain the following information regarding the person making the affidavit: his or her full name and address; date and place of birth; relationship to you or your spouse, if any; and full information and complete details explaining how the person acquired his or her knowledge.

We asked Cliff to be one witness, but I guess we should have maybe two more. If anyone who knows us well is just itching to write a notarized essay swearing that Matt and I love each other, let me know, but we'll probably come knocking in about May or June.

My second priority has been firing up my application to West Chester. Now that my GPA hasn't been obliterated by sociology, I'm feeling quite enthusiastic. I guess I'll start by writing an e-mail to the head composition guy introducing myself and asking for advice.

Heh, speaking of sociology, I read recently that the literacy of college graduates is in a decline. You all know my views on the subject. No need to repost my rants.
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