Some lawful permanent residents (LPRs) may receive temporary evidence of their lawful permanent resident status by mail rather than physically visiting a field office, USCIS announced on Mar. 16, 2023. This evidence is in the form of an Alien Documentation, Identification and Telecommunication (ADIT) stamp, also known as an I-551 stamp). An ADIT stamp’s validity is not to exceed one year, unless specified otherwise by regulation or policy.
As background, an LPR may find themselves without an unexpired Form I-551, Permanent Resident Card (green card) in various situations, such as if they have one of the following types of applications/petitions pending with USCIS and the extension of the validity date of their green card indicated in their Form I-797 receipt notice has expired.
- Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card
- Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence
- Form N-400, Application for Naturalization
An LPR may also find themselves without an unexpired green card if USCIS took it when issuing a prior ADIT stamp.
Under the new procedure, when LPRs call the USCIS Contact Center to request an ADIT stamp, an immigration services officer will verify their identity, their physical mailing address, and whether that address can receive UPS or FedEx express mail. The officer 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 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.
Some LPRs will 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 useable photo in USCIS systems, or whose address or identity cannot be confirmed.
USCIS asserts that the new process will allow USCIS to issue temporary evidence of LPR status in a timely way without requiring a scheduled appointment at the field office, thereby “reducing the burden on applicants and increasing availability of field office resources.”
Of course, the new ADIT stamp process is merely a stop-gap measure. The real solution is for USCIS to timely adjudicate pending I-90s, I-751s, and N-400s.