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 seeks to obtain 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-year period, 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 the I-90 (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 only used as a last resort. 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 office or at the 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