Form I-551 Green Card Application

Form I-551 Green Card application, which is often called a green card, is like an ID card that proves someone from another country has the right to live and work in the United States. This card is usually valid for 10 years. It’s important to note that the details are on the back side of the card.

People need to renew or replace this card if they want to keep or change their immigration status. Also, you might see Form I-551 mentioned in other documents related to permanent residency.

Irrespective of the document variant, whether an unexpired physical green card or a temporary document. The Form I-551 stands as valid proof of permanent resident status for employment purposes and reentry into the United States following international travel lasting less than one year.

An additional note of significance is the recent announcement by USCIS on January 30, introducing new designs for tamper-resistant Form I-551, commonly known as Green Cards, and Form I-766, Employment Authorization Documents (EADs). Implementation of these redesigned cards commenced on January 30, 2023.

Form I-551 Green Card Application

Form I-551 Green Card Application from Thailand

An additional note of significance is the recent announcement by USCIS on January 30, introducing new designs for tamper-resistant Form I-551, commonly known as Green Cards, and Form I-766, Employment Authorization Documents (EADs). Implementation of these redesigned cards commenced on January 30, 2023. 

Green Card

K1 Visa: This is for a person who isn’t from the U.S. but is getting married to a U.S. citizen. After they get married (within 90 days of coming to the U.S.), they can apply to become a permanent resident. This is often called getting a Green Card.

K2 Visa: This is for the child of the person with the K1 Visa. The child can also come to the U.S. and apply to become a permanent resident after their parent marries the U.S. citizen. Interestingly, they can do this even if their Form I-130, which is a form that your Thai spouse filled out, hasn’t been approved yet.

Now, the K4 Visa is a bit different. It’s for the child of a K3 Visa holder. Note that this visa allows the child to enter America. Likewise once their K3 parent has an approved Form I-130, they can apply to adjust their status (See: Form I-485) and become a lawful permanent resident.

The K3 Visa is for someone who is already married to an American. This means they can apply for a US Green Card to become a permanent resident.

CR1 Visa (Conditional Resident Spouse Visa):

The CR1 visa facilitates the entry of spouses of U.S. citizens married for less than two years. Upon arrival in the U.S., they can obtain conditional permanent resident status, represented by a Green Card.

IR1 Visa (Immediate Relative Spouse Visa):

If you’ve been married to a U.S. citizen for more than two years, the IR1 visa allows you to come to the U.S. easily. Once you’re here, you can quickly become a permanent resident, which is like getting a Green Card.

When you arrive in the U.S. as a permanent resident, they’ll send you a special card called the Permanent Resident Card or Green Card (also known as Form I-551). This card is super important because it proves you’re officially allowed to live and work in the United States.

Green Card Common Questions

How long does it take to get a Green Card after marriage?

The duration for processing a Green Card through marriage is contingent on various factors, including the petitioner’s status, the beneficiary’s location, and the green card availability as per the visa bulletin. This timeline can vary significantly, spanning from 10 months to 3 years. Consequently, the comprehensive timeline for the entire marriage green card process may extend from 10 to 38 months.


Can I work while waiting for my Green Card?

Individuals waiting for a Green Card in the United States can legally work, provided they obtain proper authorization. This can be achieved through an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) or a valid work visa. Typically, the work permit application is submitted concurrently with the original green card application for relatives of U.S. citizens.

Family members of Green Card holders have to wait before they can apply for their own Green Card. This means they also have to wait to apply for employment authorization until they become eligible. But there’s a workaround. If a person wants to work while waiting for their Green Card approval, they can apply for a work permit.

The Form I-765, or the Application for Employment Authorization, is a crucial document that allows individuals to work legally in the U.S. while they’re waiting for their Green Card approval. It might seem like a long process, but with patience and the right guidance, it’s certainly achievable. 

You’re absolutely right! It’s very important to stress that working in the U.S. without the correct employment authorization is a serious violation. Therefore, it’s strongly recommended that individuals consult with an immigration attorney. This ensures they follow all the necessary regulations and requirements. It’s always better to be safe and make sure everything is in order.

Difference between Form I-551 and Form I-485

Firstly, Form I-551, also known as the Green Card, is the physical evidence of a foreign national’s permanent residency and work authorization in the United States.


Form I-551 (Green Card):

Secondly, it acts as the official form number for the Green Card, and its legal designation is the Lawful Permanent Residency Card. This card offers irrefutable proof of an individual’s permanent residence in the United States, bestowing upon them the privilege to live and work indefinitely, provided they comply with the conditions of their stay.


Form I-485 (Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status):

Form I-485 is the paperwork you fill out when you’re already in the United States and want to become a permanent resident. It’s officially called the Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status.

So, let’s say you’re living in the U.S. and want to be a permanent resident. You use Form I-485 to tell the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) that you want to make that change. It’s like the first step in the process.

Now, even if you’ve submitted Form I-485 and it’s in the works, you might need to separately ask for permission to work while you’re waiting. That’s something you’d do with a different form.

In a nutshell, Form I-551 is the actual card that shows you’re a permanent resident, while Form I-485 is the application you fill out to start the whole process with the USCIS.


Documents needed for the Form I-551

If you want to get an I-551 stamp (which is like a temporary proof of your permanent resident status), you usually need to provide some important documents. Here’s a list:

  • Valid passport: Your current passport should be in order.
  • Appointment notice: If you have a notice for an appointment, bring it along.
  • Form I-90 receipt notice: This is a receipt that shows you’ve applied to replace your Green Card using Form I-90.
  • Proof of residence: Something that proves you live in the area covered by the USCIS office.
  • Copy of the expired or lost green card: If you have a copy of your old Green Card (even if it’s expired or lost), bring it.

And if you’re in a rush, like for an emergency, you might need additional documents that explain why you need the I-551 stamp so urgently. This could be things like documents showing a family death or serious illness or a travel request on company letterhead.

So, it’s like gathering these papers to show why you need this stamp now, and it helps make sure everything is in order while you’re waiting for your new Green Card

It’s essential to note that the list of required documents is subject to change. Therefore, it is advisable to verify the latest and most accurate information by contacting your local USCIS office or seeking guidance from a legal professional.

What is the Form I-90?

So, there’s the Form I-90, also known as the Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card. This form is like a request to get a new Green Card if yours is lost, stolen, or expired.

Note that Form I-90 is used by lawful permanent residents in the US and those in status to request the replacement as well as renewal of an existing Permanent Resident Card. This serves the purpose of replacing or renewing a Green Card that has been lost, stolen, destroyed, mutilated, or is set to expire within six months or has already expired.

Check Your Green Card and Citizenship Status: Before filling out Form I-90, see if your Green Card is still valid and check if you’re eligible for U.S. citizenship.

How to Submit the Form: You can send in Form I-90 either online or by regular mail. It’s like choosing to apply for something on the internet or sending a physical letter.

Fees: The cost of the form depends on why you’re applying:

  • If your card got lost, stolen, or destroyed: You need to pay a total of $540 (Form Fee: $455, Biometric Services: $85).
  • If you had a card but never got it: No fee.
  • If there’s a mistake because of the government’s error or if you changed your name: It’s $540 (Form Fee: $455, Biometric Services: $85).
  • If your card will expire soon or has already expired: You also pay $540 (Form Fee: $455, Biometric Services: $85).

Crucially, please note that these details are subject to change. Therefore, it’s advisable to visit the official USCIS website for the most up-to-date information. This is akin to checking the latest updates on a website to ensure you have the correct information.


How long does it take to process Form I-90?

The processing time for Form I-90, the Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card, is subject to variation. Typically, the entire process takes around 6 months. However, within the first 2 to 4 weeks after filing, applicants can expect to receive a receipt notice from USCIS confirming the receipt of their application. It’s important to note that these timelines are general estimates, and actual processing times may vary based on various factors and the current USCIS workload.


What is the application receipt number?

Certainly, the application receipt number is a distinctive 13-character identifier assigned by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for each application or petition it receives. This unique identifier serves the crucial purpose of identifying and tracking individual cases throughout the application or petition process. It allows both applicants and USCIS to monitor the status and progression of specific cases with precision and efficiency. See also the US visa for Thai wife as well as the US visa for Thai citizen.


How long does it take to get the receipt notice?

Likewise following the submission of an application, USCIS generally dispatches a receipt notice within a period of 2 to 4 weeks. This notice acts as an official acknowledgment that USCIS has successfully received the application. Nonetheless, it’s crucial to understand that these timeframes are estimates, and the actual processing times may fluctuate depending on various factors and the current workload at USCIS.

Not received a receipt notice for your I-90 form. Well here are some steps you can consider:

Firstly always retain your evidence. Keep all evidence in this regard that confirms you had filed your application promptly. Likewise also include your proof of delivery.

Secondly, you must document all your communications. Likewise you should maintain copies of all your communications between yourself and the USCIS related to this application.

Thirdly, also verify your fee payment. You should also check with your bank likewise your financial institution. This to confirm if the application fee payment has been processed by the USCIS.

Lastly, also contact the USCIS. Don’t hesitate to reach out to USCIS to inquire about your application status and check if they can provide you with a receipt number.

Finally, also inquire about mailed cards. Likewise if you did not receive a card that was mailed, create an inquiry with USCIS. This could help clarify the situation.


International travel while your I-90 form is being processed:

Travel Advisory:

It is generally advised to postpone international travel until you receive your new green card due to the processing time, which typically takes 8-10 months.

Consider an I-551 Stamp:

If travel is unavoidable, consider scheduling a USCIS appointment to obtain an I-551 stamp on your passport. This stamp serves as an indication to authorities that you are a legal resident of the United States.

It’s crucial to note that each case is unique, and various factors can influence the time it takes for USCIS to decide on the application. Therefore, staying in contact with USCIS and following up on your case is essential for accurate and timely information.


Moving to the United States

See also the US fiancee visa on here. Likewise you can also see the K2 visa process as well from Thailand for the US visa. This is linked the the K1 Visa. You can also compare the US spouse visa options from Thailand. These are the visa IR1 as well as the CR-1 visa as well. See why it is important to use a local law firm in Thailand.