US permanent resident visa green card renewal
March 23, 2012 3:44 PM   Subscribe

You are not my immigration attorney and I'm not expecting legal advice, but thoughts on green card renewal would be much appreciated.

My friend has a permanent resident visa "green card"; has had it for over 20 years. At present she is studying abroad, so she got a Reentry Permit which allows her to be out of the US for more than the green card's limit of six months. Her green card expires June 2nd, but exams mean it will be difficult to return to the USA before late July or early August.

Is the Re-entry permit (which is valid until 2013) sufficient to keep her visa from being revoked, even if the green card is renewed a month or two late? My understanding is that the resident visa itself does not expire, only the card itself.

She has submitted the green card renewal form, and has a receipt from CIS, but the biometric interview appointment has not been scheduled yet. We will ask for a postponement of the appointment until August, unless doing so will mean she loses her green card.

My friend's attorney says returning in August will not jeopardize her visa status. Is that correct?

posted by anadem to Law & Government (2 answers total)
Best answer: I recommend getting an account on VisaJourney to ask this, and going to the "Working & Traveling During US Immigration" subforum.
posted by galaksit at 4:23 PM on March 23, 2012

Best answer: My understanding is that the resident visa itself does not expire, only the card itself.

That is correct. The question is whether an expired I-551 (the card) together with a valid I-131 (the re-entry permit) and a valid receipt notice for the I-90 (the renewal) is sufficient to gain re-entry, and that's a decision that's technically made at the port of entry.

Here's the writeup on the USCIS site, and here's the advice from the US Embassy in London:
The airlines have been advised that they may transport a Permanent Resident of the United States with an expired Permanent Resident Card back to the United States, provided that the passenger has his/her Permanent Resident Card, the card was valid for ten years, the holder has not remained outside the United States for more than six months, and the expired card is the only reason the person could not be boarded.
The I-131 should cover the stay of more than six months, but I'd be inclined to double-check on the exact procedure with the US mission in the country where your friend is studying.
posted by holgate at 4:25 PM on March 23, 2012 [1 favorite]

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