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I am taking my mom to a trip in Europe to celebrate her birthday. We reside in USA and are working. We intend to be in Schengen for 9 days.

Situation: I actually have bought the plane tickets for mom and me, with hotel reservations already made. I have a US Passport so it is fine.

My mom has a Permanent Resident Card, not a US Passport (Chinese Passport). She is actively being employed in USA and is taking vacation to Europe. However, I realized her Greencard technically expires 2 months after the trip (so 1 month short), she has an active application to renew, but I don't know if she would get before her trip or visa applications.

What evidence can I use to support her visa application to be approved. I can clearly understand the 3 months rule (to avoid overstaying), but this is clearly not an attempt to overstay.

Edit: My mom did not tell me this, but I dig into a bit deeper. She got a sticker on the back of the Greencard that extends the validity of the card for a year (presumably to accomodate USCIS's 12 month processing time).

That is great but also I want to explicitly point that out to the visa office. Should I write them a separate letter asking them to look at the back of the card?

  • Why do you say her Greencard "... technically expires..." ? Apparently the card has an expiration date two months after the trip. Using the word "technically" will not present you as a trustworthy and accommodating traveler, because this word choice suggests that you see the expiration date as unimportant and insignificant, or that it shouldn't be paid attention to. Using the word "technically" in this way will not help you or your mother in any dealing with any immigration official. – David supports Monica Aug 18 at 19:01
  • David, I am not sure what you mean, it technically expires, what do you want me to say? – Yesi Aug 18 at 21:25
  • It may be only a technical expiration, as @phoog notes below, but don't use this wording. In US popular usage, the word "technical" can signal that the user thinks this is sophisticated or advanced knowledge, and can be ignored. By adding the descriptor "technical" you will be seen as one who wants to avoid the issue, or is insulting of the immigration official's knowledge, instead of one who calmly and effectively does what needs to be done. You might say instead "The card has expired, but USCIS extended its validity — see the back of the card. In any event, her status remains in effect." – David supports Monica Aug 18 at 22:46
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There are no fixed requirements about future validity of permanent residence cards for Schengen visa purposes.

Your mother's status in the US is relevant in two ways for a Schengen visa application:

  1. To show that she resides legally in the country where she files her application.

  2. To bolster her claims of ties to the US (because ties to somewhere you don't expect to be allowed to keep living are not worth much for visa purposes).

The first of these is satisfied if the card she presents is valid at the time of application.

For the second, the important factor is not the expiry date on the physical card she presents, but whether she has a reasonable expectation that the US will continue to let her live there indefinitely. If the upcoming green-card renewal is just a routine replacement of the physical card, then there's no reason for the consulate to care about it. On the other hand, if it involves a substantive decision about whether she should be granted a new card, and it's a realistic outcome that she may be denied, then she should probably be more careful to document her reasons to expect that decision will come out in her favor.

  • Permanent resident status is not tied to the validity of the card. Unless the person relinquishes the status or does something to become deportable or inadmissible, it is permanent (hence the name). Failing to replace the card before the expiration date does not cause the status to lapse, so replacing the card is indeed "routine." – phoog Aug 18 at 18:35

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