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How can I travel while waiting for my I-829 receipt and ASC letter?

I am an EB-5 investor with a conditional green card that will expire on May 29. I have not yet received my I-829 receipt notice and ASC letter because of the USCIS system conversion. I have to travel outside the country soon. I went to the local USCIS InfoPass appointment office and asked for an I-551 stamp on my foreign passport. However, they denied my request and told me I should wait for my ASC letter to complete biometric fingerprints first. Is that true? What should I do at this point? If I have gotten my “Application Support Center (ASC) Appointment Notice," which would mean I have already gotten my receipt notice that can extend my expired conditional green card for one year, do I need an I-551 stamp anymore at that time?

Answers

  • Avatar

    Bernard P Wolfsdorf

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    If you have the original receipt for the I-829, that extends your green card for one year and you can travel with that.

  • Avatar

    BoBi Ahn

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Your receipt notice from USCIS for the I-829 filing will give you valid status for one year (beyond your card expiration), and you can use that along with your expired card to travel. You only need the I-551 stamp after that one-year period if you have not received your final adjudication of I-829 by then.

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    Daniel A Zeft

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    If you need to travel outside of the U.S. for a short time, then you may be able to go on your trip. You could have someone check your mail every day in the U.S. This person could send you the receipt notice for the I-829 petition. After you receive the receipt notice for the I-829 petition, then you do not need the I-551 stamp. The person should also check your mail for the ASC appointment notice, which will have the date of your biometrics appointment. You could reschedule the date of your biometrics appointment if necessary.

  • Avatar

    Fredrick W Voigtmann

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Your I-829 receipt automatically extends your conditional lawful permanent resident status for one year, with work and travel authorized. You need to wait for the receipt notice, if possible, before leaving the United States. Of course, it would be ideal to wait for the ASC notice also, but there could be a significant delay in receiving that notice for the reason you mentioned. You can travel abroad and re-enter the United States with the receipt notice and your valid passport. You do not need an I-551 stamp or the ASC notice. You should return as soon as is practical and either complete the biometrics as indicated on the ASC appointment notice or reschedule that appointment for a time when you are physically present in the United States. You should not remain outside of the United States for more than six months on any given trip and you should maintain evidence of your continued intention to permanently reside in the United States.

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    Charles Foster

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You should make another InfoPass appointment with your notice of receipt for the petition you filed on Form I-829 to obtain a stamp that would update your status and show that your conditional permanent residency has been extended. You should not be required to wait for your ASC biometric fingerprints given the uncertainty of when an appointment may be made in any event.

  • Avatar

    A Olusanjo Omoniyi

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You should for the I-829 receipt notice before you travel. The receipt notice will confirm you have filed I-829 to remove your conditions and you certainly do not need an I-551 stamp anymore.

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    Mark AM Catam, Esq

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    I would wait for the I-829 receipt notice. However, if you still have not received it a few days before your travel date, I would do an InfoPass and explain to the officer the situation so you could get an I-551 stamp in your passport. You would need some proof of the I-829 filing, i.e. biometrics receipt notice, a copy of the I-829 that was filed and proof of payment of the filing fee.

  • Avatar

    Jinhee Wilde

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You may travel with the original I-829 receipt notice without having your passport stamped, as the receipt notice explicitly states that your conditional residency is extended.

  • Avatar

    Belma Chinchoy

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You do not need the stamp if you have an I-829 receipt notice in hand. Your attorney can reschedule the biometrics should you be outside the country on the apt date.

  • Avatar

    Lynne Feldman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Once you have the official receipt you can use that for travel with your expired card. It is only valid for one year, though, and I-829s are taking much longer. So before the one year expires, you will need an I-551 at the local office.

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