EAH Immigration Blog

Obtaining Stamp (I-551) That Extends Green Card

There are times when a lawful permanent resident (LPR), in order to extend his green card, needs a stamp in her passport, called an I-551 (ADIT) stamp. In the past, an LPR typically was able to schedule an appointment with a local USCIS office to obtain an ADIT stamp from USCIS when the green card was expiring. Many ASCs routinely would place a sticker on the back of a permanent resident card (green card) during a biometrics appointment in connection with an I-90 application.

While USCIS Contact Centers (1-800-375-5283) continue to schedule local office appointments for those seeking an ADIT stamp, they will only do so “where there is an emergent need.” Examples of a situation where an appointment will likely be scheduled include a need to document continued status for employment-verification purposes or for necessary international travel. By itself, the fact that an LPR’s 18-month extension based on a pending Form I-751 has expired is likely insufficient to warrant a local appointment while USCIS field offices are closed. Furthermore, it is unclear if needing an ADIT stamp in order to extend an LPR’s driver’s license is considered an emergent need by USCIS. If the state has not automatically extended driver’s licenses during the crisis, or the extension period has already elapsed, an appointment may be requested at a local USCIS office. Nevertheless, it  is important to demonstrate the critical or emergent need to obtain an extension. The greater the need for the LPR to have to drive, the greater the chance that USCIS will consider the need meets the standard for an appointment.

When calling the USCIS Contact Center to request a field office appointment for an I-551 stamp, the caller should clearly explain the reason for which the request is being made (e.g., employment authorization, emergency international travel, driver’s license extension, etc.) and be prepared to document to both the USCIS Contact Center representative and the local USCIS officer why the stamp is needed. For the purpose of business verification, examples of documents to include would be a letter from the employer documenting the need for a demonstration of the applicant’s continued status, or documentary evidence of the applicant’s credentials.

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