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What is a USCIS I-551 stamp and how to I get one?

In this post we will discuss what is an I-551 Temporary Evidence Stamp and when and how to get one from your local USCIS field office.

What is a I-551 Temporary Evidence Stamp?

An I-551 Temporary Evidence Stamp is a stamp obtain from a local USCIS field office and serves as an extension to 1) a Lawful Permanent Resident Card or green card that is currently awaiting USCIS action to either be renewed; 2) a pending Form I-90; or 3) waiting for a conditional residence status to be removed (Form I-751).

There are two types of I-551 Temporary Evidence Stamps.  The first is the stamp a legal permanent or conditional resident gets from USCIS for emergency situations such as having to travel while their application is processed (Advance Parole) or needs proof of legal status for certain benefits.

The second is the visa given to immigrants entering to the United States from their home country and have obtain an immigrant visa from a U.S. embassy or consulate in their home country.  The visa used to enter the United States serves as an I-551 while waiting for USCIS to process the new immigrant’s green card.

Why get an I-551 Temporary Evidence Stamp?

You should get an I-551 Temporary Evidence Stamp if you are a legal permanent resident of the United States and you are waiting for USCIS to adjudicate your pending Form I-90, or you are a conditional resident waiting for your Form I-751 to be approved and you need to travel or need to show your status is current.

Due to current wait times for the above-mentioned applications to be approved, you may also need to get the I-551 stamp if the expiration date on your green card or extension notice is getting closer and you need to travel outside the United States.  In some cases, you might also need this to get certain state benefits such as your driver license renewed.

It is also good to get the I-551 stamp until you receive your new card if you have lost your green card or had it stolen.

An I-551 stamp should only be used in emergency situations – not because you forgot to submit the required form to renew your green card.=

How to obtain I-551 Temporary Evidence Stamp?

In order to obtain the I-551 Temporary Evidence Stamp, you will need to schedule an InfoPass appointment with your local USCIS field office.

In the case that you cannot get an InfoPass appointment in time for your trip or need the stamp as soon as possible, you can walk into your local USCIS field office to request this stamp.

At your InfoPass interview, the USCIS officer will put a stamp in your passport that should be valid for 6-12 months.