Alert for Employers of Conditional Permanent Residents: Receipt Notices Now Valid for 24 Months

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Effective September 4, 2021, USCIS permits the receipt notice given to Conditional Permanent Residents for the Petition to Remove Conditions (Form I-751 or Form I-829) to serve as evidence of lawful immigration status for travel and employment for twenty-four months from the date of issue.  Prior receipt notices extended the period of validity for either one year or eighteen months.  Conditional Permanent Residents with pending Petitions to Remove will be issued new two-year receipt notices.

Most immigrants to the United States receive unconditional Permanent Resident Cards (“Green Cards”).  Green Cards are valid for ten years.  Some immigrants receive Conditional Resident Cards that are valid for two years.  At the end of the second year, the Conditional Resident files a Petition to Remove Conditions.  The Conditional Resident receives a receipt notice that serves as evidence of immigration status for employment and travel during the time that USCIS evaluates the petition.  While the Immigration and Nationality Act (“INA”) commands USCIS to decide petitions within 90 days, COVID-19 work-related restrictions and antiquated adjudication systems hamstrung the service.  USCIS’ solution is to give itself an extension for the period of validity of its documents.

The INA requires employers to accept valid documents for the purposes of establishing the right to work in the United States.  Employers may encounter a new hire who presents an expired Conditional Permanent Resident Card along with a receipt notice as evidence of employment authorization for Form I-9.  As of September 4, 2021, the receipt notice now extends the validity of the Conditional Resident Card for two years instead of the time period listed on the notice.

Finally, employers are cautioned against seeking to revalidate or update the employment authorization documents for the I-9 form of a Conditional Permanent Resident.  Like US Citizens, the INA strictly prohibits the revalidation of a Lawful Permanent Resident whose Green Card has expired.  This prohibition includes Conditional Permanent Residents.  Employers who engage in such conduct are subject to a charge of engaging in an immigration unfair employment practice from the US Department of Justice.  

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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