My I-751 Conditional Residence Removal Case is Pending for Too Long. How Do I Prove My Lawful Status?

by Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC

The Form I-751 is used by conditional residents to remove the conditions on residence and obtain a 10-year lawful permanent resident card. The Form I-751 must be filed during the 90-day “window” before conditional residence expires. It cannot be filed late, but it also cannot be filed early. It takes much longer than 90 days for the new permanent resident card to be issued. Therefore, the conditional resident card will inevitably expire before the applicant can obtain the new card. This does not mean that the applicant’s lawful status expires. Lawful status continues until it is terminated by the government. How can a conditional resident prove his or her continued lawful status during the pendency of the I-751 case?

Once the I-751 is filed, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issues a Form I-797 receipt notice, which serves as proof of the conditional resident’s continued status for one year after expiration of the conditional resident card. Until recently, this had been sufficient for foreign nationals to prove their status during the entire pendency of the Form I-751. However, delays relating to the processing of Form I-751 have been an ongoing problem during the past year. At present, the California Service Center processing time report indicates that the average processing time for Form I-751 is approximately 15 months, while the Vermont Service Center processing time report indicates the average processing time for an I-751 Petition is approximately 13 months. In some cases, processing can take even longer, especially if the case is undergoing extended review.

Due to lengthy I-751 processing times, some conditional residents have cases that have been pending longer than the one-year extension of their conditional resident card and now need evidence of their status as evidence of work authorization, for international travel, to renew a state-issued driver’s license and for other reasons.

Conditional residents with a pending Form I-751 who are in need of evidence of their continued lawful resident status should be able to obtain a temporary I-551 stamp in their passport at a local USCIS office. The stamp, which may be obtained by scheduling an InfoPass appointment, is proof of their valid status. If there are no InfoPass appointments available and the conditional resident urgently needs to obtain an I-551 stamp, the local USCIS field office should be able to provide the stamp on an emergency/walk-in basis. Walk-in hours and procedures vary by local field office. If the request is based on an emergency, the emergent need for the stamp must be clearly documented. Additionally, the conditional resident should not request a temporary stamp more than 30 days before the expiration of the conditional permanent resident card extension, as the local office could refuse to issue it that early in advance.

The conditional resident should bring the following items to the local USCIS field office when seeking a temporary I-551 stamp:

  • Valid, unexpired passport;
  • InfoPass appointment notice (if applicable);
  • Form I-751 receipt notice;
  • Application Support Center (Biometrics) Appointment Notice, which bears the correct “receipt number” for purposes of verifying the pendency of the Form I-751;
  • Expired conditional resident card;
  • Proof of residence within the jurisdiction of the USCIS office; and
  • Proof of emergency (if relevant).
  • If the individual does not have a valid passport, he or she may obtain an I-551 stamp on an I-94 card that will be issued by the field office.  In this situation, the individual should also bring two passport photographs, which will be affixed to the card.

USCIS will typically issue the I-551 stamp with a validity period up to a maximum of 12 months. However, it has been reported that some USCIS local offices will only extend in 3 or 6 month increments. If the conditional resident’s passport expires prior to that time, the stamp will likely reflect the expiration date of the passport.

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.

© Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC | Attorney Advertising

Written by:

Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC

Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
Sign up using*

Already signed up? Log in here

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Custom Email Digest
Privacy Policy (Updated: October 8, 2015):

JD Supra provides users with access to its legal industry publishing services (the "Service") through its website (the "Website") as well as through other sources. Our policies with regard to data collection and use of personal information of users of the Service, regardless of the manner in which users access the Service, and visitors to the Website are set forth in this statement ("Policy"). By using the Service, you signify your acceptance of this Policy.

Information Collection and Use by JD Supra

JD Supra collects users' names, companies, titles, e-mail address and industry. JD Supra also tracks the pages that users visit, logs IP addresses and aggregates non-personally identifiable user data and browser type. This data is gathered using cookies and other technologies.

The information and data collected is used to authenticate users and to send notifications relating to the Service, including email alerts to which users have subscribed; to manage the Service and Website, to improve the Service and to customize the user's experience. This information is also provided to the authors of the content to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

JD Supra does not sell, rent or otherwise provide your details to third parties, other than to the authors of the content on JD Supra.

If you prefer not to enable cookies, you may change your browser settings to disable cookies; however, please note that rejecting cookies while visiting the Website may result in certain parts of the Website not operating correctly or as efficiently as if cookies were allowed.

Email Choice/Opt-out

Users who opt in to receive emails may choose to no longer receive e-mail updates and newsletters by selecting the "opt-out of future email" option in the email they receive from JD Supra or in their JD Supra account management screen.


JD Supra takes reasonable precautions to insure that user information is kept private. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. However, please note that no method of transmitting or storing data is completely secure and we cannot guarantee the security of user information. Unauthorized entry or use, hardware or software failure, and other factors may compromise the security of user information at any time.

If you have reason to believe that your interaction with us is no longer secure, you must immediately notify us of the problem by contacting us at In the unlikely event that we believe that the security of your user information in our possession or control may have been compromised, we may seek to notify you of that development and, if so, will endeavor to do so as promptly as practicable under the circumstances.

Sharing and Disclosure of Information JD Supra Collects

Except as otherwise described in this privacy statement, JD Supra will not disclose personal information to any third party unless we believe that disclosure is necessary to: (1) comply with applicable laws; (2) respond to governmental inquiries or requests; (3) comply with valid legal process; (4) protect the rights, privacy, safety or property of JD Supra, users of the Service, Website visitors or the public; (5) permit us to pursue available remedies or limit the damages that we may sustain; and (6) enforce our Terms & Conditions of Use.

In the event there is a change in the corporate structure of JD Supra such as, but not limited to, merger, consolidation, sale, liquidation or transfer of substantial assets, JD Supra may, in its sole discretion, transfer, sell or assign information collected on and through the Service to one or more affiliated or unaffiliated third parties.

Links to Other Websites

This Website and the Service may contain links to other websites. The operator of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using the Service through the Website and link to another site, you will leave the Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We shall have no responsibility or liability for your visitation to, and the data collection and use practices of, such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of this Website and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our privacy policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use the Service or Website following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes. If you do not agree with the terms of this Policy, as it may be amended from time to time, in whole or part, please do not continue using the Service or the Website.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, your dealings with this Web site, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at:

- hide
*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.