The position of the USCIS is that your status is terminated but, since the law allows review of its decision by an immigration judge, you are entitled to a temporary I-551 permanent resident stamp in your passport that allows for employment and travel as if you were still a lawful resident. Our clients in this situation apply for the stamp by way of an InfoPass appointment at USCIS. Sometimes we have to point the law out to the USCIS representatives to get them to do what the law requires. If USCIS denied your I-751, I strongly recommend that you consult with an experienced and knowledgeable immigration attorney as soon as possible.
One important point that may have been overlooked.
If you have appeared before an immigration court, you should 'not' travel! If you do, the Immigration Court and CBP can find that you have self-deported yourself. There may even be a charge of unlawful re-entry, which is of concern, as well. The departure while in Immigration Court can cause serious issues, because your Immigration Court case can end upon your departure meaning that you can give up your rights.
Although it is true that you can get an I-551 stamp, those who are permanent residents can abandon their case and give up their rights by leaving the U.S. I believe that this may create serious consequences. Perhaps, this issue was overlooked.
The above response is general information and is not meant to create an attorney-client relationship. If you have any concerns, then contact a candid and experienced immigration attorney.
Whether it is risky to travel internationally during removal proceedings depends on your personal situation. I would recommend that you meet with an immigration attorney experienced in removal proceedings before traveling internationally. However, if you obtain an I-551 stamp, you should be able to work and study in the United States while you are in removal proceedings.
Elizabeth Rompf Bruen
Attorney at Law
Scott D. Pollock & Associates, P.C.
105 W. Madison Street, Suite 2200
Chicago, IL 60602
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