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USCIS Announces Mail Delivery Process for Receiving I-551 Green Card Extension Stamp

March 21, 2023
Linda Sanchez Ortega

Lawful permanent residents (LPRs) may now receive temporary proof of their lawful permanent resident status by mail rather than having to physically visit a field office to receive an Alien Documentation, Identification and Telecommunication (ADIT) stamp (also known as an “I-551 stamp”). 

What is an I-551 stamp? 

In certain circumstances, I-551 stamps are offered by USCIS as temporary evidence that someone has permanent resident status while they wait for their new green card or for citizenship. The temporary stamp is only available to individuals who have already been approved lawful permanent resident status. 

Who is entitled to receive an I-551 stamp? 

LPRs are entitled to have evidence of their lawful permanent resident status and may require such temporary evidence of their status in the form of an I-551 stamp if:  

  • They do not have their green card; or 
  • Their Form I-90 Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card is still pending, and their existing green card and extension notice have expired; or 
  • Their Form I-751 Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence is still pending, and their existing green card and extension notice have expired; or 
  • Their Form N-400 Application for Naturalization is still pending and their green card and extension notice have expired. 

What is the process to get an I-551 stamp via mail? 

Previously, to get an I-551 stamp, LPRs would have to set up and attend an appointment with their local USCIS office. However, under this new mail delivery process, LPRs will call the USCIS Contact Center (800-375-5283) and request an I-551 stamp. When LPRs call the USCIS Contact Center, the immigration services officer will verify their identity, their physical mailing address, and whether that address can receive UPS or FedEx express mail. They will then either schedule an in-person appointment for the LPR, if needed, or submit a request to the USCIS field office to issue the I-551 stamp. Some LPRs may still need to appear in person at a USCIS field office to receive temporary evidence of their status, including those who have urgent needs, do not have a usable photo in the USCIS system, or whose address or identity cannot be confirmed. 

Nevertheless, if an in-person appointment is not needed, the USCIS field office will review the request for temporary evidence and mail the LPR a Form I-94 with the I-551 stamp, a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) seal, and a printed photo of the LPR obtained from the USCIS systems. USCIS will determine if the requestor should receive an I-551 stamp and has the discretion to determine the validity period based on the situation, but typically not to exceed one year.  

Contact an attorney at Minsky, McCormick & Hallagan, P.C. if you have questions about this mail delivery process for receiving I-551 stamps. 

The material contained in this alert does not constitute direct legal advice and is for informational purposes only. An attorney-client relationship is not presumed or intended by receipt or review of this presentation. The information provided should never replace informed counsel when specific immigration-related guidance is needed.

© 2023 Minsky, McCormick & Hallagan, P.C. All rights reserved. Information may not be reproduced, displayed, modified, or distributed without the express prior written permission of Minsky, McCormick & Hallagan, P.C.

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