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What are the work/residency restrictions for conditional green card holders?

I am an EB-5 investor and I got my conditional green card in February 2017. I understand my conditional green card will expire in Feb 2019 and that I will need to file an I-829 application to remove the condition. How long does it take USCIS to process the I-829 application? Can I still stay and work legally in the U.S. when I wait for my I-829 to be approved (with my conditional green card expiring but an I-829 application pending)?

Answers

  • Avatar

    Raymond Lahoud

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    There are no limitations as to work and travel under the conditional lawful permanent resident status. You cannot, however, travel for extended periods of time that may deem your CLPR status abandoned. Also, you cannot commit any crimes or other immigration-related offenses that would lead to your being placed in removal proceedings. As for the timing on the I-829, USCIS varies and the processing time is always changing. You can still live and work in the United States while the I-829 is pending.

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    Fredrick W Voigtmann

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    USCIS processing of I-829 petitions currently is at about 30 months. Once you file your I-829 petition (within the 90 days prior to your conditional lawful permanent resident status expiration), you will receive a notice extending your status for one year, work and travel authorized. You can receive additional extensions by obtaining extension stamps in your passport from your local USCIS district office. You remain a conditional lawful permanent resident while the I-829 petition is pending.

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    Barbara Suri

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    To my knowledge, there are no restrictions to work or on residency for conditional green cards, except that you are not allowed to pass yourself off as a United States citizen and partake of opportunities open only to United States citizens; e.g. vote. If you file the I-829, you can continue to stay and work legally until a decision is made on your application.

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    Mitch Wexler

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Yes. You must file your I-829 during the 21-24th month of conditional residency. During that time, your conditional residency is extended for as long as USCIS takes to adjudicate the I-829. The current reported adjudication time for I-829s is 29 months!

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    Anthony Korda

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The I-829 processing time is approximately 2.5 years. During that time, your conditional residence period will be extended until there is a final decision regarding your petition. During that time, you may continue to live and work in the US.

  • Avatar

    Lynne Feldman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The I-829 is currently taking over two years (although certain Regional Center cases seem to go more quickly) but your permanent residency continues while this is pending so you have all the rights of a permanent resident to work and travel. Once the one-year receipt expires, you will need to get a passport stamp as evidence of continued residency.

  • Avatar

    Charles Foster

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Once you obtain your conditional Permanent Residency, you have an unrestricted right to remain and work in the U.S. and to travel in and out of the U.S. for any necessary personal or business reasons. Even when you file your Application to Removal Conditional Status on Form I-829, you still have the right to remain and work in the United States while that application is pending.

  • Avatar

    BoBi Ahn

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Yes, while the I-829 is filed and processing you are authorized to work and live legally in the U.S. The current processing time for I-829s is over a year (approximately 18-24 months).

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    Jinhee Wilde

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    All petitions are taking longer and longer to be processed. The current processing time for I-829 is 30 months. During that time, your conditional green card is extended and you may live and work anywhere in the U.S. as before.

  • Avatar

    Bernard P Wolfsdorf

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    A conditional green card is the same as a regular green card in that you can stay and live in the United States. Moreover, you can continue to reside in the U.S. while it is pending. Presently, applications are taking a very long time; about 30 months.

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