I am holding a conditional green card obtained through EB-5. This is my 20th month of conditional permanent residency and I will soon be submitting my I-829 application. Now I have a family emergency and have to travel back to my home country for a couple of months. What if I am unable to come back before my conditional green card expires? Can my immigration attorney mail the I-829 receipt to my address abroad so that when I return I have some evidence to prove my status? What other documents do I need?
You are not required to be in the U.S. to submit your I-829. Your attorney should be able to courier an original receipt notice to you once your case is filed. Pursuant to the latest USCIS announcement, an I-829 receipt notice will extend your LPR status for 18 months instead of 12 months due to delays in processing times for I-829s. You should be able to return to the U.S. with the original receipt notice, expired green card and valid foreign passport. You are required to be in the U.S. for a biometrics (fingerprints) appointment after your I-289 is filed. If you need rescheduling of your biometrics because you are out of country, your attorney should be able to assist you with that.
The attorney can mail the receipt notice to you. We have done that many times.
If your conditional permanent residency expires when you are outside of the U.S., it could clearly affect your ability to return. You would not only have to be eligible to board an airplane, but to be admitted to the U.S. The best answer is to avoid this problem altogether either by not departing the U.S. until you have the approval of your I-829 and your unconditional permanent resident card is issued or by filing your I-829 petition and obtaining an extension of your conditional permanent resident card by making an InfoPass appointment and having the card extended. If you are unable to return before your card expires, you do not have to be physically present to file your I-829 petition An I-829 receipt in and of itself is insufficient for purposes of being able to board the airplane or to be admitted to the U.S.
Upon filing for the removal of condition, you are granted a one-year extension of lawful permanent resident status (as evidenced by the receipt notice) and you are in lawful status and authorized to remain in the U.S. during the I-829 adjudication period; however, in order for you to travel after the expiration of the green card, you need to obtain a temporary stamp in your passport as evidence of extension.
Yes, the I-829 can be submitted in your absence and the receipt obtained can be sent to you abroad.
You should ask your attorney; he or she knows your situation the best.
Yes, the I-829 can be mailed to you.
You do not have to be in the U.S. when the I-829 is filed, and your attorney should be able to FedEx the original receipt notice to you so that you could travel, since the I-829 receipt notice will extend your conditional green card status by 18 months instead of 12 months (according to the latest USCIS notice released). The only thing you must do after I-829 is filed is to get your biometrics taken in U.S. Until the ASC appointment is done, your case does not proceed. If the ASC appointment is issued while you are still out of the country, your attorney should be able to request a rescheduling with your travel itinerary. All these are rather simple things that your lawyer should be able to handle.
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