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Green Card Status – Update

Now I really know why USCIS [United States Citizenship and Immigration Services] sent me, together with a note that they had received my application for the removal of the conditions of my permanent resident status [form I-751], a note that my Green Card has been (temporarily) extended for one more year. After I had checked again and again at their website how far my application had been processed [I think it's a great idea that you can check that online] and kept getting the answer “initial review”, I used another one of their services offered, i.e. to check the average processing time for any kind of form/application with USCIS [something I'd like in Germany, too], and found out that for the Vermont Service Center, with which I had to file for my application, this is 7.1 months! Which means I have to be quite patient as not even half of that time has passed.

What I’m asking myself now is – not that I am planning to travel abroad – what would happen now  if I did, as  my Green Crad expired on January 28th. I’m wondering if that chit they sent me would really allow me to re-enter the US without difficulties. Well, I hope it would, should travelling abroad become a necessity before I get me renewed Green Card.

Anyway, I can be happy that I had to file with the Vermont Service Center, as the US average [that can also be found on the USCIS website] to process an I-751 application is 18.1 months! Keeps you wondering what they’re doing there. Must be very thorough background checks.  Well, at least their goal is to achieve a US average of 6 months.

Um diesen Eintrag in Deutsch zu lesen, hier klicken.

13 responses to “Green Card Status – Update

  1. Hi Betty,
    I hope I’ll get it fairly quickly, too. As to not being able to return to the place I live: just now I can’t think of any reason why I might have to travel outside the US soon.
    What I always was afraid of – while I was still living in Germany but visiting Mary here on a regular basis – was that every time I wanted to enter the US the immigration officer could have denied me entry without giving any reason. And then I could have asked hie superior officer if he agreed, but no more. If the superior officer would have agreed, I would have had to take the next plane back. That was what really scared me. And I once was actually told by an immigration officer, “Someone with your travelling/visiting habits – 6 months in the US and 6 months in Germany – we don’t want here.” But then he still put his stamp in my passport allowing me to enter.
    Best regards,
    Pit
    P.S.: I need to tell you about my experiences with Border Patrol during my honeymoon in West Texas some time soon.

  2. I hope it comes through quickly!!! I can’t even imagine being told I could not return to the place I live. :( That would be scary.

  3. IF you apply green card application they will provide you a confirmation id and with this id you can track your green card application.

  4. I worked for the federal government–another agency–where productivity was measured by the pounds and inches of paper we THREW AWAY. I am not making this up. No one gets a bonus for doing more or fired for doing less and most of the folks who make the government go ’round are those who can’t keep work anywhere else. As soon as I finished college, I left the government for the real world and never looked back.

    Hope your application works its way through the mill in record time.

    • Hi Kathleen,
      Thanks for stopping by and leaving your interesting comment. Basically, I can’t complain about the bureaucracy here in the US. As a German, I’m quite used to extensive bureaucracy. And in Germany there have been plenty of forms to fill in all my life, too. As are here in the US. My Green Card application went through absolutely quickly, btw. My contacts in Germany had told me it might take about 15 months, my immigration attorney in San Antonio had said 6 months – but I finally got the Green Card in just a tad over three months. I really can’t complain there. All the more I was – and am – surprised that just extending it takes that long.
      As we’re not planning on holidays in Germany this year, a 7-months wait is no problem. And just now I can also not think of anything that might require my travelling to Germany soon.
      What I really like(d) at the immigration center in San Antonio was the fact that I was always asked to judge their performance. And with them I couldn’t find fault: quite efficient and friendly service there.
      Best regards, and habe a great Sunday evening,
      Pit

    • P.S.: I need to tell you about my experiences with Border Patrol during my honeymoon in West Texas some time soon.

  5. Hmmm… well, resident status is not what gets you entry in a country. I was always told that the way it works is the visa gets you access, but doesn’t matter anymore once you’re in (if you don’t want to travel), but the status is what keeps you legal. Green card might might different though.

    • Hi Sabrina,
      It’s both, visa and/or resident status that allows you to enter the US. And you’re right: after the visa expires, it’s the resident status that keeps you legal – and allows you to enter again.
      Best regards,
      Pit

  6. I would not chance it, even if someone gives you an oral “OK.” The key thing to remember about bureaucrats is none are accountable. If they make a mistake, you’re still the one denied entry. (Seven months seems like a long time. When my wife’s status was adjusted it took only about six weeks.)

    • Hi Randall,
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I hope that I don’t have to travel while my application is still pending, even if I have a written statement from USCIS/DHS that my permanent resident status has been extended for one year. Well, we’re planning our vacation(s) in the US this year anyway.The 7.1 months are really long, but then there must be other service centers that take even longer, since the US average is 18.1 months.
      Best regards,
      Pit

  7. Oh, I hear you. I thought my 4-5 months wait for H1B was long…. Talk to somebody about the travelling question though before you go. They had told me that I couldn’t when I was waiting, but that might have been a different situation.

    • Hi Sabrina,
      I hope that I don’t have to travel outside the US before I get my new/extended Green Card, even if I have a written statement from USCIS/DHS that my permanent resident status has been extended for one year. Re not being allowed to travel: that was true when my initial application for a Green Card was pending. Well, we’re planning our vacation(s) in the US this year anyway.
      Take care,
      Pit

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