Another action by USCIS demonstrates that current processing times are becoming increasingly protracted.
Effective September 4, 2021, USCIS announced that to accommodate current processing times for I-751 and I-829 petitions, they are increasing the validity of the receipt notices from 18 months to 24 months.
Applicants who obtain a green card through a marriage where the marriage is less than 2- years old at the time of adjudication will receive a 2- year green card. Prior to the expiry of this temporary green card, applicants must file I-751 to remove the conditions. Filing this application will enable applicants to eventually receive a 10-year green card. Similarly, EB-5 applicants who file Form I-526 and receive a green card through the adjustment of status process or consular processing will also only receive a 2- year green card. To remove the conditions and obtain a 10- year green card they must file Form I-829.
Going forward I-751 applicants and I-829 applicants can now use the receipt notice as evidence of status for 24 months, while their case is pending with USCIS. USCIS has also stated that they will also issue new receipt notices to those who filed prior to Sept 4, 2021, and whose cases are still pending.
Despite this extension, certain service centers, have longer processing times and it is unlikely that this extension will be sufficient. For example, the processing time for the I-751 for Nebraska is currently estimated as 14.5 months to 31 months. The processing time for all field offices is 21.5-36 months. This means that even with a 24- month validity some applicants may find that their case is pending beyond this.
Current processing times for I-829 petitions are currently estimated at 35.5 months to 61 months, so the extension really does nothing to accommodate current processing times as claimed by USCIS.
If you have questions regarding the above, please reach out to PLG Partner Chris Prescott at firstname.lastname@example.org.