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International Travel with pending I-751 (expired GC)

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Posted by MJDoc12 (2) 30 Jul 2009#1
Trying to find info out. A friend of mine has a conditional residence card (thru marriage) and it expires in September 2009. He hasn't filed his I-751 yet to remove the condtions on his residency, and is about to do so. However, he has a vacation planned with his wife, that falls right in the middle of when his card expires. It was my understanding that because he has a CONDITIONAL residency - that no matter what, once his card expires, he is not permitted to leave the United States and expect re-entry. He was told that he could send his application in, and using the I-797C Notice of Action receipt, he would be able to travel with no problems and be able to re-enter the country. Now, if he had a normal 10 year perm residency card that he was renewing with an I-90, I can maybe see this as no problem. But since his conditional residency expires by a certain date, how would it be possible for him to just use the I-797C to travel with his expired card and passport?

Does anyone know if this is true or not?? Please help!
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Posted by teacher (181)   30 Jul 2009#2
to MJDoc12:

Hello there! Here is some helpful info i gatherered in response to your question:

You mentioned that the conditional greencard expires in SEP 2009. The date is now August ( practically).There is a requirement of the conditional greencard holder to file the I-751 within the 3 month period BEFORE the green card expires. The USCIS also provides provision to file this document late under certain conditions and request a statement/letter explaining why the petition was filed late. In my view, this should be your friends priority NOW.

~What happens if I don't file the joint petition or the waiver in time (within 90 days of my green card's expiration)?~

Your green card will be lost if you fail to file within this period, unless you file a waiver petition. A waiver may be filed even after expiration of a green card and even before the 90 day filing period. Once a CIS receipt notice is received from CIS, you will have proof that your green card is still valid for another year or until the case is decided, whichever comes first. If your case is still not decided within a year, your green card will be extended for another year and will be extended on an annual basis until the case is decided.

~Will I be able to travel abroad while the joint petition or waiver is pending with CIS, even if my hard copy green card is expired?~

To be sure that you will be allowed re-entry into the U.S. upon departure after your green card expires, you should have proof of your continued lawful permanent residency stamped in your passport by CIS after you receive proof of filing of the joint petition or waiver. This temporary stamp will be the evidence necessary for a port of entry CIS official to conclude that you are still a lawful permanent resident and should be allowed re-entry into the U.S.

I know your main concern was about the rights to travel legally outside of the USA and return as such. That part i am not keen on at all ( except for what i have researched and pasted above...what i think is best and most suited to do now is to ensure that the petition to have the conditional residency removed is filed with USCIS NOW. When he receives the receipt for this from USCIS he can proceed to ask USCIS questions about thravelling in and out of the country. Please be sure to call the 1-800-375-5283 and speak with a USCIS Representative for more info.

Hope this helps!
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