The last year has been a challenging and confusing time for immigrants in the United States, with the effects of COVID-19 and the seemingly countless changes to immigration policy between the two most recent presidential administrations. One challenge that many immigrants have faced is a delay in processing their applications for visas and adjustments of status. Fortunately, Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has recently announced a measure that provides relief for some conditional permanent residents with pending applications.
USCIS will grant conditional permanent resident status to immigrants who become permanent residents by way of marrying a U.S. citizen when the marriage occurred within the last two years. This includes immigrants who come to the U.S. on a K-1 fiancé(e) visa, as well as those who come to the U.S. on another type of visa and then get married to a U.S. citizen during their time in the U.S.
Conditional permanent resident status allows an immigrant to live legally in the U.S. for two years, but at that point, the immigrant will need to apply to have their conditions removed. In order to do so, they should file Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence, within 90 days of the expiration date of their conditional Green Card. This form should be filed with the immigrant’s spouse and include evidence that the marriage is legitimate and not intended for the purpose of evading U.S. immigration laws.
Typically, when a conditional permanent resident files Form I-751, the USCIS will send back a receipt notice that allows the person to lawfully remain in the U.S. for an additional 18 months after their Green Card expires and while their application is pending. However, USCIS has experienced significant delays in processing these petitions, putting some conditional permanent residents at risk of losing their lawful status while their case is in process.
In response to these delays, USCIS has extended the additional period of lawful status from 18 months to 24 months. This extension applies to anyone who files Form I-751 after September 4, 2021. Conditional permanent residents who filed their petition before September 4, and whose cases are still pending, will also be issued a new receipt notice granting them this same extension.
At Mevorah & Giglio Law Offices we understand that a delay in the processing of your adjustment of status can be stressful. We can help you take all necessary steps to remain in the U.S. legally while your case is pending, including by taking advantage of this new extension. For a free initial consultation with an Illinois adjustment of status lawyer, call our office today at 630-755-6426.
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