New USCIS Policy on Removing Conditions on Green Card

Editor:

 

USCIS Extends Green Card Validity for Conditional Permanent Residents

 

In January 2023, USCIS implemented a new policy regarding green card renewals that could impact many immigrants in the United States. In some cases, USCIS is extending green cards for up to 48 months beyond their expiration date. However, there are some nuances to this policy that could cause some confusion, so it’s important to understand the details.

 

What is a Conditional Green Card?

 

When a person applies for a green card, they may be granted a conditional green card instead of a permanent green card. The conditional green card is valid for two years and is given to two categories of people:

 

  • (1) Those who obtain their green card through marriage, or

  • (2) Investors who obtain their green card based on investing in a US business

 

At the end of the two-year period, the applicant must apply to remove the conditions from their green card in order to obtain a permanent green card.

 

What’s the New Policy?

 

If an applicant is applying to remove the conditions from their green card, what happens if the green card expires while their application is processing? How can they prove that they have valid status in the US? In the past, USCIS would issue a receipt notice that confirmed they received the application. This notice had special language that extended the green card beyond the expiration date listed on the green card.

 

Under the new policy, USCIS is extending the validity of green cards for 48 months beyond their expiration date for those applicants who properly file Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence, or Form I-829, Petition by Investor to Remove Conditions on Permanent Resident Status. USCIS is making this change to accommodate current processing times for these forms, which have increased over the past year.

 

USCIS has updated the language on Form I-751 and Form I-829 receipt notices to extend the validity of a green card for 48 months. For individuals with a recently filed Form I-751 or Form I-829, USCIS will issue new receipt notices to eligible conditional permanent residents who previously received notices with an extension shorter than 48 months and whose cases are still pending. These receipt notices, together with the expired conditional green card, now act as evidence of continued status while the case remains pending with USCIS.

 

What Does This Mean?

 

For those who have timely filed a Form I-751 or Form I-829 and are waiting for their application to be processed, this policy can be beneficial.

 

However, it’s important to note that this policy only applies to those who have timely filed the Form I-751 or Form I-829 and are waiting for their application to be processed. It does not apply to those who have not yet filed to remove the conditions from their green card or to those who have already had the conditions removed.

 

In conclusion, USCIS’s new policy regarding green card renewals is an important development for those who hold a conditional green card. While it may not be a perfect solution, it provides much-needed relief for those who are waiting for their application to be processed. As always, it’s important to consult with an immigration lawyer if you have any questions about your specific situation.

 

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Michael Ashoori, Esq.

President of Ashoori Law

I’m a U.S. immigration lawyer and I help families, professionals, investors, and entrepreneurs get visas, green cards, and citizenship to the United States.

Since starting my law firm, I’ve helped thousands of people from all over the world with their immigration needs. I’m very passionate, hard-working, and committed to my clients.

Got a question? Send me an email.