25 Jan 2023

United States

USCIS Extends Validity of Green Cards for Form I-751 and Form I-829 Petitioners

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced this week that it will automatically extend the validity of certain Permanent Resident Cards (also known as Green Cards) that have expired. Specifically, this applies to foreign nationals who have been granted conditional permanent residence and have filed (or will file) either (a) Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence or (b) Form I-829, Petition by an Investor to Remove Conditions on Permanent Resident Status.

These individuals will be eligible for an automatic extension of 48 months beyond the expiration of the two-year conditional Permanent Resident Card, while their I-751 and I-829 petitions remain pending. This extension took effect on January 11, 2023, for applicants who have filed Form I-829 and is effective as of today, January 25, 2023, for applicants who have filed Form I-751.

Form I-751 is typically filed by a spouse of a United States citizen who was granted two-year conditional permanent residence and now wishes to have these conditions removed so that he or she can obtain permanent residence on an indefinite basis.  Form I-829 is filed by an EB-5 immigrant investor who was similarly granted a two-year period of conditional residence and now wants to obtain permanent residence on an unconditional basis, having shown that the underlying commercial enterprise has been sustained.

The automatic extension is an effort to mitigate the adverse effects of the current processing times for Forms I-751 and Forms I-829, which have lengthened greatly in the past year (14–19 months and 61 months, respectively).

USCIS has revised the language on Form I-751 and Form I-829 receipt notices to state that the validity of an already issued Permanent Resident Card is extended for 48 months following the expiration date printed on the card.  Form I-751 and I-829 petitioners who previously received I-797 receipt notices with an extension of less than 48 months and whose cases are still pending will be issued new I-797 receipt notices by the USCIS. These I-797 receipt notices containing the appropriate extension language may be used with an expired Permanent Resident Card as evidence of continued status and employment eligibility for I-9 purposes within the 48-month period following expiration of the conditional Permanent Resident Card. This combination of documents can also be used for admission to the United States after international travel. However, conditional permanent residents who plan to be outside of the U.S. for a year or more should apply for a reentry permit (Form I-131) prior to departing the United States.

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