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How can I travel back to the U.S. with an expired green card before receiving the I-829 receipt notice?

I obtained my conditional green card through EB-5. The card expired on Dec. 26, 2018. I submitted my I-829 application on Nov. 21, 2018. I thought I would get the I-829 notice soon after the filing, so I travelled abroad in early December. However, there is a delay in the issuance of I-829 receipt notices, probably because of the government shutdown. I was not able to get the receipt by the expiration date of my card. Now I am abroad waiting. Can I go back to the U.S. legally without that receipt, or do I have to wait until I get the I-829 receipt notice?

Answers

  • Avatar

    Julia Roussinova

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Recently, USCIS has taken a position that it is experiencing a massive delay in issuance of I-829 receipts. Have your attorney contact IPO to request a receipt notice. You should be able to request a boarding foil from a U.S. embassy in your home country to travel back to the U.S.

  • Avatar

    Fredrick W Voigtmann

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You should request a boarding letter from the U.S. embassy or consulate in your home country. They can check the computer and verify that your I-829 was filed and is pending. They will issue a document to you so that you may board the plane returning to the United States. Once you reach the port of entry, CBP will again verify in the computer that your I-829 is pending. The government shutdown did not affect the issuance of I-829 receipts. USCIS is just slow. Have your attorney email the investor program office and request the 18-month extension receipt notice.

  • Avatar

    Charles Foster

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    If you have an expired green card, without having timely filed your application on Form I-829, you should be able to present your I-829 receipt along with your expired conditional permanent resident card for purposes of travelling to and re-entering the United States. You should not have traveled abroad without the receipt. You can wait abroad until the receipt can be forwarded to you or go to the nearest American consulate to see if they can give you a document that allows you to board the aircraft to the United States.

  • Avatar

    Marko Issever

    EB-5 Broker Dealer
    Answered on

    Hopefully, you have some sort of proof that you submitted your I-829 application before the shutdown. Please take that documentation to the nearest consulate/embassy in the country you currently are in. They will most likely have a record that you submitted your I-829 application already. Hopefully, they can give you an I-551 stamp and with that, you can surely travel back to the U.S. Best of luck!

  • Avatar

    Bernard P Wolfsdorf

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You need to get the receipt or you need to apply for an I-131A at the closest U.S. consulate.

  • Avatar

    Phuong Le

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You should make an InfoPass appointment and get an I-551 stamp as proof that you filed your I-829 petition. It will act as an extension of your status.

  • Avatar

    Belma Chinchoy

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You should be able to obtain a transport letter from a USCIS field office in the country where you are located. Get a confirmation that your I-829 filing fee check has been cashed and get the receipt number from your attorney.

  • Avatar

    Lynne Feldman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You can go to the consulate and apply for a travel document to return.

  • Avatar

    BoBi Ahn

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You may be able to travel back with the expired card and go through deferred inspection. Since USCIS has a record of you filing the I-829 on their database, they can easily check that when you go through immigration at the airport.

  • Avatar

    Salvatore Picataggio

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Not only will you probably need that receipt notice, you may now also need a reentry permit. I would need to review the entire situation before advising further.

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