USCIS| EB-5 Green Card validity extension -

USCIS extends EB-5 green cards to 48 months past expiration for I-829 and I-751 Staff

By Anayat Durrani

The USCIS has announced it is extending the validity of permanent resident cards to those who filed forms I-829 and I-751 to 48 months beyond the card’s expiration date. The change took effect on January 11, 2023 for Form I-829 and on January 25, 2023 for form I-751.

The USCIS stated that the change is “to accommodate current processing times for Form I-751 and Form I-829, which have increased over the past year.” USCIS updated the language on both forms’ receipt notices to reflect the change for those with newly filed forms. The announcement has received mixed reactions in the EB-5 community.

“While we prefer that USCIS instead speed up their I-829 processing times, this new 48 month extension alleviates issues that EB-5 investors encounter with demonstrating their lawful permanent status for employment and travel without needing to obtain a new I-551 permanent resident status stamp on an annual basis while the I-829 petition remains pending,” says Christian Triantaphyllisa partner at Jackson Walker LLP.

USCIS issues extensions for green Card holders

The agency said they will issue new receipt notices to eligible conditional permanent residents that have already received notices that have a shorter extension and whose cases are still pending. Receipt notices can be presented with an expired Green Card as proof of continued status as the case remains pending with USCIS, allowing petitioners to stay authorized to work and travel for 48 months from the expiration date listed on the expired Green Card.

“The extension of green validity for up to four years for CPR’s with pending I-751’s and I-829’s is not to be celebrated,” says Brandon Meyer, managing partner, Meyer Law Group. “Instead, it’s a bold admission by USCIS about how pathetically disorganized and inefficient they have become.”

Mona Shah, managing partner of Mona Shah & Associates Global says their investors with I-829s have experienced inconvenience, frustration and hardship. She says the firm constantly receives calls asking if they should file a petition for a Writ of Mandamus.  

“A few examples of the inconvenience? One such is — as there is no green card, some loans are unavailable. One investor was terminated as their company did not recognize their status; another is the nightmare scenario when traveling,” says Shah.

EB-5 visa processing times

The agency said conditional permanent residents planning to travel outside the United States for a year or more must apply for a reentry permit by filing Form I-141 before departing. 

“We are certainly pleased to see the issuance of longer receipt notices, but at the same time are perturbed,” says Shah. “Does this mean that USCIS will take four years to adjudicate I-829s or is this a temporary situation until the backlogs have been cleared up? We certainly hope it is the latter.”

Triantaphyllis says he hopes the 48 month time period will provide the agency adequate time to adjudicate the I-829 petition “before an EB-5 investor and dependents need to get any other extension stamps at a local USCIS field office.”

Meyer says the move by the USCIS “does not auger well for those of us eternally hopeful that USCIS may improve its processing times,” and added that the agency is “essentially admitting what we already know, that they cannot perform their jobs in a reasonable time frame.”

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