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Law Offices Of Robert M. Bell | Immigration And Nationality Attorneys

Practice Pointer: Obtaining a Temporary I-551 Stamp Due to a Delayed I-90

On Behalf of | Jan 20, 2015 | Uncategorized

Cite as “AILA InfoNet Doc. (Posted 1/6/15)”

The issue of delays in the processing of Forms I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card, was raised during the October 9, 2014 liaison meeting with USCIS Field Operations. Though USCIS indicated that the current processing time for I-90s is approximately 6 months, we have received reports of some cases pending well beyond that time frame. USCIS explained that because the National Benefits Center is not yet sufficiently staffed to handle the volume, USCIS is forwarding batches of applications to various local offices in order to help alleviate the backlog.

Individuals with a pending I-90 who are in need of evidence of their permanent resident status for work, travel, or to obtain a state issued driver’s license, should be able to obtain a temporary I-551 stamp in their passport at a local USCIS office. The stamp, which may be obtained by scheduling an InfoPass appointment, is evidence of permanent resident status and may be valid for up to one year.

If there are no InfoPass appointments available within the timeframe required by your client, the USCIS local office should also be able to provide the stamp on a walk-in basis, although walk-in procedures vary by office. Note that if the request is based on an emergency, the emergent need for the stamp must be clearly documented. The applicant should bring the following items to USCIS when seeking an I-551 stamp:

• Valid passport;
• InfoPass appointment notice (if applicable);
• Form I-90 receipt notice;
• Proof of residence within the jurisdiction of the USCIS office;
• Copy of expired/lost green card, if available;
• Documents evidencing the need for the I-551 stamp as an emergency walk-in (i.e. flight itinerary, doctor’s letter or death certificate, along with evidence of the relationship to an ill or deceased relative; company letter if emergency travel is work-related, etc.);
• Copy of date-stamped ASC appointment notice evidencing biometrics capture (if applicable).

USCIS will typically issue the I-551 stamp with a validity period of 6 to 12 months. However, if the applicant’s passport expires prior to that time, the stamp will likely reflect the expiration date of the passport. Additionally, if biometrics have not yet been captured for the pending I-90, the office might further limit validity period of the stamp to a period of 30 to 60 days. However, since biometrics are typically scheduled within 30 days of filing, if the I-90 has been pending for some time, this should not be an issue.