I have been a conditional green card holder for the last two years – prior to that an F-1 holder for 9 years. However, the project is in a legal trouble (i.e. SEC, mismanagement allegation) and there seems to be a reasonable chance that the court rules in SEC”s favor – resulting in NTAs for all CPRs awaiting for I-829s adjudicated.
Assuming that I seek all options I would have at hand (i.e. immigration court, appeal, etc.), how do I remain a lawful permanent resident in the meantime and how can I get to travel outside the U.S. without self-removing myself?
it is crucial for me to remain in status and be allowed to travel for a couple of years.
You should be able to continue extending your authorized stay with an I-551 stamp as long as your I-829 is pending.
An NTA can only be issued if I-829 is denied and you become subject to removal. You should consult an experienced immigration attorney to discuss all options available to you, including cancellation of removal. You should be able to get extension I-551 stamp which will allow you to work and travel outside the US.
USCIS will not issue an NTA for someone with a pending I-829; it would have to deny the I-829 first and then issue the NTA. Assuming you wind up in immigration court, you can renew your I-829 before the immigration judge, as well as seek any other appropriate relief from removal, including cancellation of removal for lawful permanent residents (or non-LPRs as well). The USCIS has a policy memo allowing for CLPR extension stamps valid for work and travel for one year during removal proceedings, so you can get that stamp as long as you are not subject to a final order of removal. You should consult with an experienced EB-5 immigration attorney, who can advise you of your legal options.
The rule is until the judge finds you removable you are entitled to evidence of your permanent residence and to travel by using and getting a temporary green card stamp at your local office.
Be sure to get a stamp in your passport showing continued PR status.
Given the nature of your matter, it is best that you do not travel until an experienced EB-5 Immigration Attorney reviews your entire file and provides the most comprehensive of evaluations as it relates to any possible travel you wish to take. Again, the facts you have presented appear complex and additional information and a thorough review would be necessary.
While the timely filed appeal is pending you are authorized to remain in the U.S.; however, without further detail regarding the particulars of the case, it would be best to remain in the U.S. until the appeal is adjudicated.
Generally, an appeal does not extend the immigration status during its pendency. One can argue that an I-829 appeal places an individual in a period of authorized stay (up until an NTA issued). However, this is a gray area and I doubt USCIS would stamp your passport a temporary I-551 stamp while I-829 appeal is pending. Accordingly, I would refrain from traveling until the I-829 is adjudicated in its finality, whether it ends up going to an immigration judge or the appeal is sustained.
As long as your I-829 is pending, CIS will continue to extend your legal status. Until the final decision is made on your case, you can travel during these periods of extensions without worrying about your legal status.
It is difficult to answer your question without more information, but from what you say you are a Conditional Lawful Permanent Resident until such time as your status has specifically been revoked by USCIS. While you are free to travel, there would always be a risk that your status could be revoked while abroad which would prevent you from returning to the United States. Even though the project may be in trouble and may be subject to one or more penalties by the SEC, hopefully all investors are represented in this process as typically agencies and the Courts look upon the EB-5 investors as an innocent class that deserves to be protected in these proceedings.
Until there is a final adjudication of the case, your I-829 will remain pending and as such the USCIS will likely continue to extend your conditional permanent resident status. Under this scenario, you would be able to travel out and return into the country. Finally, it is advisable to be in constant contact with your legal counsel/team while the litigation is on so as to be on top of the news on your legal standing.
You can receive I-551 stamps during the appeal. Even if the I-829 case is ultimately denied while you are out of the country, you will be allowed in and NTA'ed upon or shortly upon entry. Your CPR status must be terminated by a judge, it cannot be USCIS.
You should get a stamp in your passport that verifies you are still a permanent resident. Get an infopass appointment.
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