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More Good News for Permanent Residents: Mail Delivery Process for ADIT STAMP Available

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced a new mail delivery process for processing ADIT stamps for lawful permanent residents. The Alien Documentation, Identification, and Telecommunication (ADIT) stamp, also known as the I-551 stamp, provides temporary evidence of lawful permanent resident status that can be used for international travel or as proof of authorized employment. Until recently, such stamps were only available by contacting USCIS Customer Service and scheduling an in-person INFOPASS appointment at a local USCIS office.

This I-551 or ADIT stamp serves as proof of permanent resident status for up to one year and is most commonly needed for conditional permanent residents who are waiting for an I-829 or I-751 petition to remove conditions to be approved (beyond the 48-month extension provided by the receipt notices for these petitions). Also, conditional permanent residents qualified for the ADIT stamp may include permanent residents with expired, lost, stolen, or replacement permanent resident cards ("green cards") who have I-90s pending or who recently made an entry as a permanent resident using an immigrant visa stamp, are waiting for their initial permanent resident cards, and may otherwise not have access to their passports with visa initial ADIT stamps (e.g., stolen or lost).

Under the new process, lawful permanents residents will still have to contact the USCIS Contact Center (by phone), but the immigration services officer, after verifying the caller's identity and address, has the option to submit a request to the USCIS office to issue the ADIT stamp if the officer confirms an in-person appointment is not required. The USCIS field office will review the request and mail the applicant a Form I-94 with ADIT stamp, DHS seal, and printed photo of the lawful permanent resident obtained from the USCIS systems. USCIS still has discretion to require an in-person appointment in some cases, including those who have urgent needs, do not have usable photos in USCIS systems, or whose addresses or identities cannot be confirmed.

The validity period of the ADIT stamp can be limited at USCIS discretion, depending on the permanent resident's individual situation. The stamp will not exceed 12 months, unless specified by policy or regulation.

This much-needed mail-in process, as well as the recent extension of I-751 and I-829 receipt notices to 48 months (see prior alert), will reduce the burden on USCIS field offices to process annual ADIT stamps and save many permanent residents the time and trouble of navigating the INFOPASS system and hoping for a local office appointment.

The full USCIS release is available here.

Please contact Baker Donelson's immigration team for more information.

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