Form I-551 is the official name for the “green card” in the government’s immigration and citizenship system. The validity of Form I-551 is 10 years. It must be renewed if one chooses to remain a permanent resident or obtains U.S citizenship.
The I-551 Temporary Evidence Stamp
An immigrant must maintain their permanent resident status by having a valid green card (Form I-551) at all times. At least once per 10 years, a renewal will be needed. The need for a temporary evidence stamp on Form I-551 (green card) becomes clear if you consider the amount of time it can take to file I-90: the process can take up to 6 months or more. The temporary evidence stamp is able to temporarily prove permanent resident status after a green card has expired.
A temporary evidence stamp should be a last resort to use if possible. One should always apply to renew their green card well before the expiration date to best avoid being stuck with an expired one.
How to obtain a temporary green card stamp?
You will need to make a infopass appointment with your local USCIS at USCIS website. Depending on your situation, you should bring the following applicable documents.
- Infopass appointment letter
- Valid passport
- I-90 NOA1 – receipt notice
- Copy of your last green card
- Copy of date-stamped ASC appointment notice showing biometrics capture
- Proof of residence within the jurisdiction of the USCIS office