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After I-829 Approval -- Now What?


First congratulations. Light a cigar, have a cup of wine (or cup of coffee if you don't drink wine) and celebrate the moment. It's been several years after you and your family members became conditional permanent residents. You are happy to receive the news (probably from your U.S. immigration attorney) that you and your I-829 condition removal application was approved. Hopefully, you are satisfied with your lives in the United States and want to continue living in the United States. Now what?

Well, first you should ask for originals of I-829 approval notices, not to frame them but to show the USCIS officers if and when they ask to see them. And then you have to wait for your permanent I-551 green cards to arrive by mail. If you and your family have not already done biometrics (fingerprints, etc.) at ASC office -- which you should have done already -- the I-829 approval notice will state that you should do so at the nearest USCIS Field Office. The permanent green cards should arrive within 2 months, or as early as within 3 weeks.

When the I-551 green cards arrive, check the info printed on the green cards to make sure name, date of birth, and A# are correct. What is I-551? It's just a USCIS-designated document number for the green card. And just in case you lose the green card, make a copy of the green card. I don't exactly know if making a copy of your green card is illegal, but I don't think you will go to jail or get deported for making and keeping a copy of your green card for your records.

Try not to depart the U.S. until you get the actual permanent I-551 green card, because having actual green card is always more convenient for re-entry purposes. However, if you need to travel outside the U.S. quickly, then take the I-829 approval notice and make an Infopass appointment to get a temporary I-551 stamp in your passport.

There are other goals remaining for Investor and dependent family members, even after I-829 conditions removal application has been approved and LPR status have been acquired, such as still having to maintain the LPR status and getting the initial investment amount back plus little profit (hopefully). Confirm your rights and obligations as a Limited Partner for the particular EB-5 project you participated in.

You might even begin to consider if, when and how you and your family members can file for naturalization to become U.S. citizens. Under the U.S. immigration law, you and your family members can apply for naturalization 5 years from the acquisition date of conditional permanent resident (not LPR acquisition date). That means 1.5 ~ 2 years after you obtain your conditional green card, you can probably apply to become a naturalized citizen of the United States.