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Pending LPR

Immigration advice for all individuals

There are many variations in situations for people who are pending a change to Legal Permanent Resident (LPR, a.k.a. “green card.”)  The universal element is that you/your sponsor/your attorney have filed an immigrant petition with USCIS.  All individuals must:

  • Maintain a valid passport at all times.
  • Report any change in residential address, within 10 days of moving, to the USCIS (Form AR-11), to OIS by email, and in UIC’s NESSIE system.
  • Notify OIS if/when you receive and/or renew your EAD card, receive an I-551 stamp indicating that you have been approved for permanent residence, and obtain the actual Permanent Resident card (also known as the “green card” or I-551 card).  We will need copies of these documents to update and/or close your OIS file.

Other guidelines for all individuals

  • Dependents: May have an immigration status different from your own depending on which documents were filed with USCIS.  Consult OIS if we are your sponsor, or your attorney, if self-sponsored.
  • Taxes: You are required to file both state and federal taxes.
  • Grace period: If you were maintaining status at the time of filing the I-485 application, and were eligible to adjust your status at that time, you may remain in the U.S. legally after your I-485 has been filed.  Filing the I-485 gives you permission to remain in the U.S.
  • Departure: You are required to submit a Departure Verification Form upon leaving UIC.  This form is required regardless of your departure reason:  departing the U.S., changing employers, or changing immigration status.

Specific advice for two common Pending-LPR situations

There are two common Pending-LPR situations at UIC.  This information is not inclusive of all possible situations.  Please consult with an OIS advisor if you have additional questions about your status.

Specific advice for two common Pending-LPR situations
  Maintaining non-immigrant status

(H-1B, O-1, etc.)

Utilizing an EAD card
Explanation Some individuals choose to maintain their non-immigrant status while their case is pending with USCIS for LPR.  You must maintain your underlying status in this situation. Some individuals choose to end their non-immigrant status to gain more flexibility in regards to their work authorization.
Work authorization You must work only as authorized by your non-immigrant status and through the end date on your current I-797 Approval Notice.  If you are an H-1B or O-1 sponsored by UIC, please see your corresponding section on our website. Work only for the period approved on your Employment Authorization Document (EAD card).
Extensions Have the department apply for renewal of your status 4-6 months prior to the expiration of your current status.  Extension limits vary by situation, in general 3 years are allowed for individuals from an oversubscribed country (China, India, etc.) and 1 year extensions are allowed for all other situations. Apply for renewal of your EAD card 6 months prior to the expiration of your current card.  EAD cards can be extended in increments of not more than one year at a time.
Travel If you are an H-1B visa holder, you may travel on a valid H-1B visa stamp for as long as you have a valid I-797 Approval Notice.  You may also choose not to use a visa to re-enter but rather use Advanced Parole (I-131).  In either situation, you resume your H-1B status upon re-entry unless you utilize an EAD card for work authorization. Apply for Advanced Parole (I-131) prior to travel outside of the U.S. to avoid abandoning the I-485 petition.  You must have a current EAD card to continue to be work eligible upon return to the U.S.
Changing jobs You may be able to change positions and/or employers if the proposed new position is the same or similar to your current position.  Also, your approved Immigrant Petition (I-140) can remain valid if Form I-485 is filed on the basis of the EB immigrant petition and remains unadjudicated for 180 days or more.  Please consult OIS prior to accepting any new position, if we are your sponsor, otherwise contact your attorney/employer. You may change positions at your discretion.