USCIS has just made it a lot easier for Lawful Permanent Residents with a lost, stolen, or misplaced green card to obtain evidence of their immigration status. Last week, the Service announced that LPRs may now request an Alien Documentation, Identification, and Telecommunication (ADIT) or I-551 stamp by mail as temporary evidence of their permanent resident status, instead of having to visit a local USCIS field office.
Who needs an ADIT stamp?
The ADIT (Alien Documentation, Identification and Telecommunication systems) stamp (also known as an I-551 stamp) is placed on an individual’s passport or I-94 card as temporary evidence of the alien’s lawful permanent resident status, where the alien no longer has the green card in their possession either due to loss, theft, or where a replacement green card has not yet been issued, or where the alien is waiting for an extension of his or her LPR status to be approved and their extension notice has expired.
Such stamp is necessary for LPRs to re-enter the United States after temporary foreign travel to demonstrate proof of their permanent resident status at the port of entry. An LPR who does not have their green card in their possession, can show the ADIT stamp in their passport or I-94 to obtain re-entry. Otherwise, LPRs are unable to provide proof of their status and cannot gain readmission to the United States. Additionally, the ADIT stamp can be shown to U.S. employers as proof of work authorization.
Previously, to obtain an ADIT stamp, LPRs were required to first file Form I-90 Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card, or Petition to Remove Conditions with USCIS.
Thereafter, only if such cases were beyond the normal processing times posted by USCIS, could the alien request an in-person appointment to obtain an ADIT stamp from their local USCIS field office. Such appointments were extremely limited and did not provide relief to LPRs with urgent travel needs.
With USCIS’ new announcement, LPRs no longer need to visit their local USCIS field office, and can instead request the ADIT stamp by mail.
How does it work?
After calling the USCIS Contact Center to request temporary evidence of status, an immigration services officer will verify your identity, physical mailing address, and whether that address can receive UPS or FedEx express mail.
Thereafter, the officer will then either schedule an in-person appointment if needed (for those who do not have an address that can receive mail by courier) or submit a request to the USCIS field office to issue the ADIT stamp.
If an in-person appointment is not needed, the USCIS field office will review the request for temporary evidence and mail the applicant a Form I-94 with ADIT stamp, DHS seal, and a printed photo of the lawful permanent resident obtained from USCIS systems.
USCIS may issue temporary evidence of status in the form of an ADIT stamp. The Service will determine if the requestor should receive an ADIT stamp and has the discretion to determine the validity period based on the situation (not to exceed one year, unless specified otherwise by regulation or policy).
Some lawful permanent residents will still need to appear in person at a USCIS field office to receive temporary evidence of LPR status, including those who have urgent needs, do not have a useable photo in USCIS systems, or whose address or identity cannot be confirmed.
According to USCIS, this new process will allow the agency to issue temporary evidence of lawful permanent resident status in a timely manner, without requiring a scheduled appointment at local field offices, increasing availability of field office resources.
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- USCIS Announces Additional Mail Delivery Process for Receiving ADIT Stamp
- Temporary I-551 Stamps and MRIVs
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- March Visa Bulletin
- USCIS Processing Times
- Chats with Charlie YouTube Channel
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- DOS Visa Services Operating Status Update
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