On March 16, 2023, USCIS announced that certain eligible permanent residents may now receive temporary written evidence of their lawful permanent resident status by mail, rather than by having to obtain the evidence by visiting a field office in person.
Under the previous policy, permanent residents who wanted to obtain written evidence of their status were required to make an appointment and go in person to a USCIS field office in order to receive an Alien Documentation, Identification and Telecommunication (ADIT) stamp, also known as an I-551 stamp. This new process improves USCIS efficiency and saves time for everyone involved, as it allows immigrants to skip the step of having to go into a USCIS field office.
Permanent residents are entitled to receive an I-551 stamp if:
- They do not have their Green Card; or
- They have filed an I-90 (Application to Replace Permanent Resident card), I-751 (Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence), or N-400 (Application for Naturalization) and it is still pending with USCIS, and their Green Card and their extension notice have expired.
An I-551 stamp can be a valuable document to these permanent residents in need. Since it serves as temporary evidence of permanent resident status, it can allow permanent residents to prove that they are allowed to work in the U.S., obtain a state-issued driver’s license, and travel outside of the U.S.
In order to receive an I-551 stamp by mail, USCIS has instructed permanent residents to call the USCIS Contact Center (800) 375-5283 to request temporary evidence of their status (an ADIT stamp). At that time, the officer will verify their identity, mailing address, and whether the address can receive UPS or FedEx express mail. From there, the officer will either schedule an in-person appointment or submit a request to the local USCIS field office to issue the I-551 stamp by mail.
I recently had the opportunity to go through this process with a client and found it to be very easy and problem free. When I called the USCIS Contact Center, I informed the automated system that I needed an ADIT Stamp. Eventually, I was transferred to a live USCIS agent who asked me some questions to verify my identity (as a representative) and to confirm information about my client and the pending application. From there, I was told that I would receive a call back from a USCIS officer within 72 hours who would verify some additional information and then either schedule an appointment for my client or arrange to send the I-551 stamp in the mail.
As promised, I actually received a call later that same day and the officer asked me to join my client on the call in order to verify some background information. Once the officer confirmed our identities and the information in their system, she advised that an I-551 stamp would be mailed to my client and that he could expect to receive it within 14 days. My client, for whom I filed an I-90 to replace his lost green card, was overjoyed and pleasantly surprised by the easy experience, especially considering that he is facing a 20-month estimated processing time for his pending Form I-90. Once he receives the I-551 stamp, he will be able to renew his driver’s license and travel back to his home country.
If you have questions about this blog post or you need assistance in obtaining an I-551 stamp, contact U.S. Immigration Lawyer Sean D. Hummel to schedule a consultation to discuss your case: (954) 385-3111 or email@example.com