Sep 29, 2021
COVID-19 Delays at USCIS Extend Conditional Residency to 24 Months for Properly Filed Forms I-751 and I-829
In a statement released September 3, 2021, USCIS stated that it would extend the validity period for extensions of status for certain petitions to remove conditions of residency. Specifically, the agency is extending the time that receipt notices of properly filed Form I-751 (Petitions to Remove Conditions on Residence) or Form I-829 (Petition by Investor to Remove Conditions on Permanent Resident Status) can be used to show evidence of status while their cases remain pending with USCIS. USCIS stated that they were enacting the extension to “accommodate current Form I-751 and Form I-829 processing times, which have increased over the last year.”
USCIS processing times have experienced a significant slow-down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, adding an additional layer of difficulty to an already slow-moving system. As of the most recent USCIS update to the agency website, the estimated processing time for Form I-751conditional permanent residents are currently experiencing an estimated processing range of between 21.5 to 36 months. Petitions for Form I-829 are also experiencing a lengthy wait, estimated to be between 35.5 to 61.5 months.
Previously, conditional permanent residents could use the notice of receipt to their properly filed I-751 or I-829, in addition to their green card, as proof of continued status for up to 18 months past the expiration date listed on the card. The announcement from USCIS now extends the use of this evidence of status by another 6 months, allowing conditional permanent residents to remain in continued status for 24 months after the expiration date of their green cards.
This technical change will apply to all permanent residents who file Form I-751 or I-829 after September 4th. USCIS in their statement also said that they would “issue new receipt notices to eligible conditional permanent residents who properly filed their Form I-751 or Form I-829 before Sept 4 and whose cases are still pending." The extension provides a much needed reprieve to conditional permanent residents who have been left in limbo while they await processing by USCIS.
If you have any questions about this policy, please feel free to contact Green & Spiegel at email@example.com or call the Philadelphia Office directly at (215) 395-8959.