Green Card Renewals Delayed Longer Than Ever

Green cards play an integral role in the American immigration system. These documents provide individuals with proof that they are lawful permanent residents of the United States. These often need to be renewed every ten years, but the renewal process can take over a year and, in more recent cases, over two years to complete.

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently announced a change that will help protect those who fall victim to the serious delay in processing renewals. As of September 26, 2022, the validity of green cards for residents who properly file Form I-90 will be extended for 24 months with a receipt notice. The old rule only granted a 12-month extension.

This is an absolutely necessary step to protect those who are legally residing in the U.S. under the green card system, but the delay is still putting legal residents at risk. Renewals cannot be applied for until six months prior to expiration. Prior to this change, it was nearly impossible for many legal residents to file their forms, get an extension, and have their applications processed before expiration.

A further complication to this is that the USCIS emergency appointment request system creates enormous headaches for everyone involved. If a legal permanent resident is pushed up against the expiration date for their green card, they will generally work with an attorney who will seek an emergency appointment. To do so, the attorney must contact a call center to request an appointment. This process often takes several days just to reach a representative – if you don’t get an answer at all on the first day after numerous attempts then you just start over again at the back of the line the next day, calling until you get an answer. There is no voicemail or callback system to hold your place in line. Once you finally get someone on the line, they will inform you that you will receive a call back to confirm the appointment which can take several hours or days depending on your luck. If you aren’t available when the call to confirm the appointment comes, then you start back at square one, calling the call center all over again.

The only way to change this system would be through your politicians. If you or a loved one has to go through this, you should contact your local politicians to push this issue and make it clear how law-abiding US residents are having their resident status put at risk due to a system full of unnecessary hurdles and headaches.

At Valvo & Associates, we will always do everything in our power to make this process easier and more effective for our clients. Our hands are tied by the system, but we know the system and will navigate it in any way possible. If you need help applying for or renewing your green card, contact our team and we will serve, lead, and support you.

By Brandon Valvo