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Completing a Form I-551 for the US Permanent Resident Card

2 minute read
"If you are starting the process of becoming a lawful permanent resident in the United States, then you will be required to fill out Form I-551. Form I-551 was formerly known as a Green Card, which is a document that authorizes you to immigrate to the United States as a lawful permanent resident."
Written by My Visa Source Team
Published on:  Apr 20, 2021
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If you are starting the process of becoming a lawful permanent resident in the United States, then you will be required to fill out Form I-551. 

Form I-551 was formerly known as a Green Card, which is a document that authorizes you to immigrate to the United States as a lawful permanent resident. 

The Green Card is proof of your immigration status and allows you to live and work in the US permanently. It is valid for a maximum period of 10 years and must be renewed before it expires. 

Form I-551 is processed usually between a period of 6 months to a year. 

How to Fill Out Form I-551?

There are 4 main categories of this form that you can choose based on your situation:

  • Immediate Relatives of US Citizens
  • Employment-Based Visas
  • Green Card Lottery
  • Refugees and Asylum Seekers

You must attach the following documents to your application:

  • Valid passport
  • Birth Certificate
  • Financial Documents
  • Form I-90 Receipt
  • Proof of Permanent Residency
  • Appointment Notice

What is the Process of Filing Form I-551?

There are only 4 short steps to filing Form 1-551: 

Step 1: Approval and Petition: 

Once you have determined which category of the form you are eligible for, you will be required to submit your application to the government body of US Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) and wait for them to approve your application. 

Step 2: Additional Documents: 

Based on your application, you may be required to submit additional documents to support your application.

Step 3: Identification Number: 

If your application is approved by the USCIS, you will be assigned an immigrant visa number that will be stated on your Green Card. 

Step 4: Adjustment of Status: 

If you are present in the US while submitting this application, you must seek an adjustment to your current status. If you are filing from abroad, you will be required to follow the instructions of the US Consulate Embassy.

What are the I-551 Temporary Evidence Stamps?

If your Form I-90 (Renewal or replacement of Green Card) is pending and you need proof of status, you can contact your local USCIS office to issue a temporary I-551 stamp on your passport. 

This USCIS issued temporary evidence is only valid for a period of 6 to 12 months and issued on a case-to-case basis.

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