U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services recently ordered 8,543 people to return their green cards, also known as Permanent Resident Cards. Could you be affected by this?
It appears that green cards mailed between February and April 2018 have been recalled due to a production error. USCIS explained that the cards were printed with an incorrect “Resident Since” date, which gives the wrong information about when green card holders can apply for U.S. citizenship.
Who was ordered to return their permanent resident cards?
The immigration agency clarified in its statement that those affected by the technical error were the spouses of U.S. citizens who applied for green card under form I-751, a petition to remove conditions on residence status.
Our Salt Lake City green card attorney explains that this form is used by immigrants who received a conditional green card after getting married to a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and are looking to get a regular Permanent Resident card.
Under federal and state laws in Utah, spouses of U.S. citizens or permanent residents can become U.S. citizens after three years of permanent residency. The incorrect “Resident Since” date, in its turn, could mean that green card holder would have to wait longer than necessary for naturalization.
What does the recall of green cards mean?
The agency has already notified those affected by the error or their lawyers. USCIS also said in its statement that those affected by the technical error should return their green cards in a pre-paid envelope within 20 days of receiving the notice. Another option is to return the green card at a USCIS field office.
The federal agency promised to provide those affected by the error with a replaced green card within 15 days of received the card with the incorrect “Resident Since” date. Our green card attorney in Salt Lake City explains that neither the recall nor the technical error itself impact the affected green card holders’ status as lawful permanent resident.
If you have been affected by the recall and need to travel abroad, waiting for a replacement green card may not be an option, as you will have to prove your status of a permanent U.S. resident at the border. Consult with an experienced immigration attorney to find out your best options in this case.
Who is eligible to apply for green card in Utah?
You do not necessarily have to be the spouse of a U.S. citizen to be considered eligible for a permanent resident status, as unmarried children under the age of 21 as well as parents (who are at least 21 years old) of a U.S. citizen are both eligible for apply for a green card.
Our Salt Lake City green card attorney also reminds readers that there are other family-based preference categories that allow relatives of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents to obtain a green card. These categories include unmarried and married sons and daughters (at least 21 years old) of a U.S. citizen, brothers and sisters (at least 21 years old) of a U.S. citizen; the spouse and unmarried children of a lawful permanent resident.
In addition to that, a fiancé(e) of a U.S. citizen and the child of a fiancé(e) of a U.S. citizen are equally eligible to apply for a green card. However, the procedure of applying for a green card is different for each eligible relative of a U.S. citizen, which is why it is highly advised to speak to an experienced green card lawyer at the Familia America Immigration law firm before applying for a lawful permanent resident status.