USCIS began implementing this change by providing a 48-month automatic extension on Notices of Action mailed to applicants beginning on January 11, 2023, for Form I-829 applicants, and on January 25, 2023, for Form I-751 applicants.
Have you ever wondered how you can apply for a green card renewal while outside of the United States? In this video, attorney Jacob Sapochnick tells you everything you need to know about this process.
We also discuss how you can travel internationally if your green card has already expired.
If you want to know more about this topic, please keep on watching!
This topic will be of interest to permanent residents who are overseas and now have an expired green card, as well as those who want to travel abroad but have an expired green card.
When you are issued a green card (Permanent Residence), it essentially means that you have the right to live permanently in the United States for a renewable period of 10 years.
Some of the benefits of being a lawful permanent resident are that you can accept employment without restriction, own property, receive financial assistance at public colleges and universities, and join the Armed Forces. Before the expiration of your permanent resident card, you must apply to renew it by filing Form I-90 with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
In this video, attorney Jacob Sapochnick tells you everything you need to know about the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program in the year 2023. While there have been recent Congressional changes to the program, it is still an option for those who wish to obtain their green card through a qualifying investment.
If you would like to know more about the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program, please keep on watching!
Did You Know? The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program was first created by Congress in the year 1990 to stimulate the United States economy through job creation and capital investment by foreign investors. In return for their qualifying investment, investors receive conditional permanent residence in the United States, and are required to remove their conditions on permanent residence by filing Form I-829 within 90 days of their conditional green card’s expiration.
In 1992, Congress extended the program to allow for Regional Center investment, which sets aside EB-5 visas for participants who invest in commercial enterprises associated with regional centers approved by USCIS based on proposals for promoting economic growth.
EB-5 Investment Visa: The Ultimate Guide in 2023
What is the EB-5 investor visa?
The EB-5 investor visa allows qualifying investors (and their spouse and unmarried children under age 21) to receive conditional permanent resident status (a 2-year green card).
One of the ways in which foreign investors may qualify for the EB-5 classification is by investing through regional centers designated by USCIS based on proposals for promoting economic growth.
When investing in regional centers, investors will choose a project offered by the regional center in which they wish to invest. Typically, the projects offered for investment are real estate development projects. For regional center investment, the investor does not need to invest in a project in his or her state of residence. The investment can occur anywhere in the United States.
Additionally, regional center investment allows investors to passively invest in the project, without having to direct or manage it themselves. Regional center investment is the most common way to qualify for the EB-5 visa. In fact, 95 percent of all EB-5 investors file their cases through Regional Center investment.
Another way to qualify is by investing directly in a new commercial enterprise that you intend to direct and operate. In this case you will be managing the project yourself. Only 5 percent of EB-5 investors opt for investment in a new commercial enterprise, because it is more risky.
On March 15, 2022, President Biden signed the EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2022 (Public Law 117-103), which created new requirements for the EB-5 immigrant visa category and the Regional Center Program. EB-5 immigrant visas are currently authorized under the Regional Center Program through September 30, 2027.
Welcome back to the Immigration Lawyer Blog, where we discuss all things immigration. In this video, attorney Jacob Sapochnick discusses the long processing times to adjudicate applications and petitions filed with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The backlog of cases has been especially significant for certain types of applications and petitions where demand is greatest, such as I-539 applications to extend/change nonimmigrant status, I-360 petitions for Amerasians, Widow(er), or Special Immigrants, I-765 Applications for Employment Authorization, I-751 Removal of Conditions applications, and many others. According to previous data, in 2014 an average green card case took about 5 months to be processed by USCIS, while in 2020 it has taken over 10 months to process the same type of application.
The reason behind these high processing times leads back to the crippling effects caused by COVID-19. Since the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic, USCIS has been experiencing a financial crisis as more and more people have found it difficult to afford paying costly fees for their immigration processes. To make matters worse, USCIS has also been experiencing a shortage in personnel and resources, making it difficult for the agency to efficiently adjudicate immigration benefits.
Many of these limitations have been caused by conditions in various states around the country, as well as local government mandates. States with high rates of coronavirus for example have been especially hard hit, making it difficult for USCIS to continue to operate at previous levels. The Biden administration has taken steps to try to improve conditions and reduce the backlogs by reinstating deferential immigration policies mandating immigration officers to defer to prior approvals where immigration benefits involve the same parties and facts. The agency has also lengthened the status of removal of conditions applicants from 18 to 24 months while their applications remain pending with the USCIS and implemented flexibility policies to respond to requests for evidence. Despite these changes there is much more that needs to be done.
Want to know more about these important updates? Just keep on watching.
Massive Delays at USCIS Reach Crisis Levels
According to USCIS data, from fiscal year 2017 to fiscal year 2021, processing times for all I-539 applications to change or extend status rose from about 2.8 months in 2017 to 9.8 months in 2021 (an increase of more than 250%)
In the same period, processing times for family-based adjustment of status (I-485) applications rose from 7.9 months in fiscal year 2017 to 13.2 months in fiscal year 2021 (an increase of more than 67%)
Also during the same period, processing times for naturalization applications (N-400) increased from 7.9 months in 2017 to 11.6 months in fiscal year 2021 (an increase of nearly 47%)
Welcome back to the Immigration Lawyer Blog, where we discuss all things immigration. In this video, attorney Jacob Sapochnick shares a recent update from USCIS regarding a new policy that will extend evidence of status for green card holders who are applying to remove the conditions on their green card with the filing of either Form I-751 Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence or Form I-829 Petition by Investor to Remove Conditions on Permanent Resident Status. Jacob also provides some cautionary information for conditional permanent residents who have divorced and are returning to the U.S. after temporary foreign travel, as well as added scrutiny for those applying for naturalization who initially gained their green card through marriage to a U.S. Citizen.
Keep on watching to find out more.
2 Year Extension of Status for Conditional Permanent Residents with Pending Form I-751 or Form I-829
USCIS has recently shared important information for conditional permanent residents who have been issued a two-year green card by USCIS and are now seeking to remove the conditions on their residence. Starting September 4, 2021, USCIS is extending the time that receipt notices can be used to show evidence of lawful status from 18 months to 24 months for those who have properly filed Form I-751 Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence or Form I-829 Petition by Investor to Remove Conditions on Permanent Resident Status.
Previously, after filing Form I-751 or Form I-829, USCIS was issuing receipt notices which included an automatic 18-month extension of lawful status, allowing applicants to lawfully remain in the United States 18-months past the expiration of their green cards while their applications were under review with the agency. These extensions were issued for 18-months because that was the estimated processing time for removal of conditions applications prior to the COVID-19 outbreak.
USCIS will now be issuing 24-month extensions to reflect the current processing times more accurately for these applications, which has increased during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Welcome back to the Immigration Lawyer Blog, where we discuss all things immigration. In this video, attorney Jacob Sapochnick discusses a new pilot program that will improve the accuracy and reporting of current USCIS processing times. As our readers will be aware, USCIS processing times have increased significantly during the past few years, especially for certain types of petitions, due to severe backlogs and personnel shortages caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Unfortunately, this has made it more and more difficult for applicants to ascertain exactly where they stand in the processing pipeline. To help resolve these issues, USCIS is testing new ways to better calculate processing times for immigration benefit requests with the unveiling of a new pilot program. This new system will help certain applicants determine whether their case is outside of the normal processing time, and when they can inquire about the status of their case. The pilot program will begin with posted processing times for Forms I-90, I-102, I-485, I-526, I-751, I-765, I-817, I-824, I-829, I-914, I-924, N-400, N-600 and N-600K.
Unfortunately, thousands of applicants have been negatively impacted by the lengthy processing times, currently affecting a broad range of applications and petitions filed at USCIS service centers nationwide. Many have been waiting months on end for interview scheduling, while others have yet to receive a Notice of Action, informing them that their case was properly filed and received by USCIS.
Welcome back to the Immigration Lawyer Blog, where we discuss all things immigration. In this video, attorney Jacob Sapochnick updates you regarding a recent practice followed by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) – the waiver of marriage based green card interviews during the Coronavirus pandemic. Additionally, our office has observed that the agency is processing certain types of applications much more quickly than others.
Want to know more? Stay tuned for more information about this important topic.
Green Card Interview Waivers for Employment Based Applicants
Beginning in April of this year, our office began to receive approval notices for employment-based adjustment of status applications, without the need for the applicant to attend the in-person face-to-face interview as is typically required by USCIS.
As you may recall on March 18th USCIS announced the suspension of in-person services at field offices nationwide, which meant the cancellation of face-to-face interviews. It was not until June 4th that USCIS announced that it would begin resumption of services at field offices nationwide.
Presumably to avoid a growing backlog of cases needing to be scheduled for an interview, USCIS began to grant employment-based green card petitions without requiring the applicant to attend the in-person interview due to the suspension of in-person services.
USCIS never officially announced a policy change allowing for these interview waivers, and instead these changes were occurring as a matter of practice based upon the agency’s discretion.
What happens when you have let your green card expire, and you now want to apply for citizenship?
Under current immigration law, a naturalization applicant is not required to have a valid green card at the time of filing for citizenship.
Because of this, individuals with a now expired green card do not need to apply to renew their green cards before applying for citizenship.
However, in cases where the green card was lost or stolen it is recommended that the individual file Form I-90 to renew a lost or stolen green card. Even in this case you may still apply for citizenship and provide a copy of your I-90 receipt notice as proof that your green card renewal is in process.
Exception: Individuals who are traveling or individuals who need to have a valid green card to prove that they are eligible to engage in lawful employment, should apply to renew their green cards as soon as possible.
Remember that as a general rule, applicants are allowed to apply for citizenship even if their green card has now expired, but in certain cases it may be a good idea to apply for a green card renewal prior to applying for naturalization.
Conditional Green Cards
If you have received a conditional 2-year green card, you must first remove the conditions on your conditional permanent residence on Form I-751. Conditional residents may apply for citizenship on their third anniversary of becoming a resident, if they remain married to the same individual who petitioned for their green card.
For more information about citizenship please click here.
In this video attorney Jacob Sapochnick answers a frequently asked question: Can you lose your green card if you get divorced during the green card application process?
The answer is that it depends on where you are in the green card process.
As a preliminary matter, when you are married to a U.S. Citizen for less than 2 years, at the time of filing, you receive a conditional green card that is valid for 2-year period. In order to remain in the United States, you must remove the conditions on your green card before your conditional green card expires.
If you have been married for more than 2 years at the time of filing, then you will receive a green card that is valid for 10 years, and you do not need to remove your conditions.
If you divorce after obtaining your conditional green card, you can still remove your conditions to obtain the 10-year green card, despite having divorced. To read more about the removal of conditions process for applicants who have divorced please click here.
At the moment, the I-751 Petition is taking longer than expected to be adjudicated by USCIS. As a result of these delays, on June 11, 2018, USCIS began issuing receipt notices extending an applicant’s conditional permanent resident status for a period of 18 months, as opposed to 12 months.
It is not uncommon however for some petitions to take longer than 18 months to be processed, especially in the case of an I-751 waiver of the joint filing requirement.
It is important to note that processing times vary by service centers. There are five service centers that process and adjudicate the I-751 petition. These service centers include: California, Nebraska, Potomac, Texas, and Vermont.
Please follow along on the CIS website to find out how you can check the processing times based on these service centers.
What is the I-90?
The I-90 application is used by lawful permanent residents to apply for replacement or renewal of existing Permanent Resident Cards.
The Potomac service center is the only service center currently processing I-90 applications.