“I married my American citizen wife in the summer of 2004, and received my green card not long afterwards. In the early fall we submitted paperwork to make my green card permanent, and at that time we were assured that the matter would be cleared up within weeks. But we still haven’t heard anything and we are getting worried that something could be wrong with our application. What should we do? I have plans for foreign travel this year, and the situation is worrying.”
There isn’t any reason for you to be worried, but you should expect to wait several more weeks, even months, before you receive word that the condition on your resident status has been removed.
As you are aware, green cards issued through marriage to a U.S. citizen are initially granted for two years, if the marriage is less than two years old at the time of processing. Ninety days before the two-year expiration approaches, the couple can apply to have the two-year condition removed and the status made permanent by filing Form I-751 with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) service center having jurisdiction over their place of residence.
Judging from your address, the I-751 you filed would have been submitted to the Vermont service center. As of December 18, 2006, the last date for which information is available, the Vermont office was processing I-751 applications received on or before June 15, 2006.
Therefore, you can expect to wait a while longer before being notified. However, it is troubling that in your letter, you say that you haven’t heard anything from USCIS.
By now, you should have received what’s known as a notice of action from the agency. This notice confirms that an applicant’s paperwork and accompanying filing fees have been received, but most importantly, it also confirms the extension of conditional resident status for a further 12 months, with employment and travel abroad permitted during this time.
Do you have a canceled check which would show your I-751 has been received, or a return receipt from the certified mail you (hopefully) used to submit the paperwork? If you have these documents, but you are still waiting for the notice of action, you should investigate the status of your case further.
You can call the USCIS call center at 1-800-375-5283 and speak to a representative from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. If you had an application receipt number you would be able to check your status online at www.uscis.gov
, but as you say you’ve had no communication since filing, you’ll have to make the call instead.
The processing dates for various immigration benefits are also updated on the USCIS site on a monthly basis, and are simple to navigate from the home page.