What about situations where the couple cannot file a joint petition for one reason or another?
As mentioned earlier, some of these situations would be:
- divorce or annulment;
- death of petitioner;
- extreme hardship; and
- spousal/parental abuse.
Separation is the most problematic. If the couple is separated, and there is no final divorce decree, the non-citizen spouse and children cannot file the I-751. The only exceptions would be cases where the U.S. Citizen has abused the conditional residents, or cases where the conditional resident could show extreme hardship.
Otherwise, in cases of divorce, annulment, or death of the petitioning spouse, the conditional resident could immediately file the I-751. In such a case, it would be essential to include as much evidence of the validity of the marriage as possible.
These cases can be tricky, so again, seek the counsel of an immigration attorney if you find yourself in this situation.