9 FAM 202.2
(U) Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs)
(Office of Origin: CA/VO/L/R)
9 fam 202.2-1 (U) statutory and regulatory Authority
9 FAM 202.2-1(A) (U) Immigration and Nationality Act
(U) INA 101(a)(20) (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(20)); INA 101(a)(27)(A) (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(27)(A)); INA 212(a)(6)(A) (8 U.S.C. 1182(a)(6)(A)); INA 212(a)(7) (8 U.S.C. 1182(a)(7)); INA 222(b) (8 U.S.C. 1202(b)); INA 316 (8 U.S.C. 1427); INA 317 (8 U.S.C. 1428).
9 FAM 202.2-1(B) (U) Code of Federal Regulations
(U) 22 CFR 42.1(b); 22 CFR 42.22; 8 CFR 101.3(a)(1); and 8 CFR 211.
9 fam 202.2-2 (U) Lawful Permanent Residents – Overview, Introduction
a. (U) Overview of Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) Sections:
(1) (U) 9 FAM 202.2 provides information on Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs) that consular personnel are likely to need for their official functions. 9 FAM 202.2-4 outlines consular services provided to LPRs. 9 FAM 202.2-5 discusses processing boarding foils for LPRs, and 9 FAM 202.2-6 provides guidance verification of LPR status. 9 FAM 202.2-8 lists the bases for losing LPR status; and
(2) (U) See 9 FAM 202.2-7 for information on LPR travel to the United States. See also 9 FAM 201.2 for information on travel documentation for temporary residents and other travelers without documentation.
b. (U) Basis for Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) Status:
(1) (U) The term "lawfully admitted for permanent residence" means the status of having been lawfully accorded the privilege of residing permanently in the United States as an immigrant in accordance with the immigration laws; and
(2) (U) Child Born in the United States to Diplomatic Parents: A child born in the United States to parents in diplomatic status does not acquire U.S. nationality at birth, because the parents are not subject to the jurisdiction of the United States while in that status. (See case of Nikoi v. Attorney General of United States, 939 F.2d 1065, D.C. Circuit.) However, in accordance with DHS regulation 8 CFR 101.3(a)(1), such a child might be considered a Lawful Permanent Resident at birth. The child will normally be considered while under the age of 16 to have the same intent as the parents. Thus, if the parents take the child out of the United States and abandon their residence in the United States, the child will normally be considered to have lost permanent residence status.
c. (U) Conditional Lawful Permanent Resident Status:
(1) (U) An alien granted conditional resident status under INA 216 is issued a Form I-551, Permanent Resident Card, similar to other permanent residents, except that the classification code on the front (photo) side of the card is "CR-", "CF-", "CX-","C2-", or "C3-" for family based status, and "C5-" and "T5-" for employment based status, followed by a one digit number and the reverse side bears a legend stating:
THIS CARD EXPIRES ____________
(U) The expiration date is 2 years from the date the alien obtains lawful permanent resident status. The card is valid until midnight of the date indicated; and
(2) (U) Automatic Loss of Conditional Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) Status: A conditional resident alien automatically loses LPR status on the second anniversary of his or her date of admission as a resident if the form to remove the conditions is not filed by that date (Form I-751, Petition to Remove the Conditions of Residence, for family based status and Form I-829, Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions on permanent Resident Status, for employment based status). However, the law allows DHS to accept a late petition if, and only if, the alien can establish that the failure to file on time was for reasons beyond his or her control. See 9 FAM 202.2-8 for more complete information on loss of LPR status.
9 fam 202.2-3 (U) HANDLING DHS Documents
a. (U) Posts should keep in mind that consular officers do not have the authority to make determinations regarding retention or loss of lawful resident status and cannot require any alien to relinquish lawful resident documentation. On the other hand, there are no regulations that state that a fraudulent document cannot be retained if presented to a consular officer for verification or other action. See also 9 FAM 601.10 for general fraud provisions.
b. (U) In cases where a post is in a position to verify the legitimacy of a particular DHS document, posts should follow these instructions:
(1) (U) If post is certain that the document is fraudulent (i.e., a counterfeit or a genuine document, which has been altered to allow its use by an imposter), posts are authorized to retain the documents for inclusion in the case file or for specific disposition as required; and
(2) (U) If, on the other hand, a post is only doubtful as to the veracity of a document, then the post should return the questionable document to the bearer. If the alien is traveling, the post should notify the carrier (if known) that the document may be fraudulent. The carrier should be informed that if the document is, in fact, counterfeit or altered and the carrier has decided to risk transporting the alien, the carrier may be subject to DHS fines. In all cases, post should scan and e-mail a copy of the document to the Office of Fraud Prevention Programs (CA/FPP). See 9 FAM 601.10 for general fraud provisions.
9 fam 202.2-4 (U) consular services for Lawful permanent residents (LPRs)
9 FAM 202.2-4(A) (U) Overview
(U) LPRs may need a variety of consular services, ranging from a boarding foil for a lost, stolen, expired or destroyed/mutilated Form I-551 to the filing of a Returning Resident (SB-1) visa application.
9 FAM 202.2-4(B) (U) LPR Preference Petition Filing
(U) In general, only USCIS will accept an immigrant visa petition filed abroad at one of its overseas offices. Occasionally, in emergent circumstances, USCIS may authorize consular officers to accept the petition. See 9 FAM 504.2-4.
9 FAM 202.2-4(C) (U) Abandonment of Status to Confer More Beneficial Status
(U) There is no legal restriction preventing a LPR from obtaining another immigrant visa in a different preference status in order to confer derivative status on a spouse or child. There is also no requirement that the alien resident abandon his LPR status.
9 FAM 202.2-4(D) (U) Requesting a Replacement or Extension of DHS Documents
9 FAM 202.2-4(D)(1) (U) I-551, Permanent Resident Cards
(U) You may not accept an alien’s application for replacement of the Form I-551, Permanent Resident Card, from aliens physically present in their consular district, since these applications now require biometrics. Instead, these aliens should be told to file Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card, directly with USCIS when they return to the United States. See also 9 FAM 202.2-5 below on issuance of boarding foils in lost, stolen, expired or destroyed/mutilated Form I-551 cases.
9 FAM 202.2-4(D)(2) (U) Reentry Permits
a. (U) Requests for Reentry Permits:
(1) (U) The Form I-327, Permit to Reenter the United States (reentry permit), is issued by USCIS. It has a maximum validity of 2 years, but may be assigned a shorter validity period.
(2) (U) While an LPR must apply for a reentry permit while physically present in the United States, occasionally the LPR will travel overseas before receiving the reentry permit. He/she may request that USCIS send the reentry permit to post. Post should issue a no-fee ACRS receipt using code 85D for each document received and would then hold the document in a secure location until the LPR makes contact to pick up the reentry permit. Post may choose to publish lists of receipt numbers for received documents on their website but is not required to contact recipients. Post should determine the best method for scheduling the pick-up based on their specific volume and workload.
b. (U) Unclaimed Expired Reentry Permits: Unclaimed expired reentry permits are permits that are sent to posts but have never been collected by the intended recipient. You should retain reentry permits that cannot be delivered or are not claimed until they are no longer valid, and then return them to the USCIS/Nebraska Service Center, P.O. Box 82521, Lincoln, NE 68501-2521. The unclaimed expired reentry permits provide DHS with information that is germane to any future dealings with the alien and should be part of the DHS record.
c. (U) Lost/Stolen/Destroyed Reentry Permits: Guidelines for processing boarding foils for LPRs whose reentry permits are lost, stolen, or destroyed and Lost/Stolen Reentry Permits is included below. Please note that unlike boarding foils for those with lost, stolen, or destroyed Form I-551, Permanent Resident Card (green cards), individuals with lost, stolen, or destroyed reentry permits can apply for LPR boarding foils if they are seeking to return from temporary foreign travel during the 2 years between the date the individual left the United States and the date the fee for Form I-131A was paid. An LPR boarding foil can be issued on or after the two-year mark, as long as the Form I-131A, Application for Travel Document (Carrier Documentation), fee payment is made before the LPR is abroad for two years. The USCIS Customer Profile Management System (CPMS) in PCQS serves as the best report for confirming whether USCIS issued a reentry permit for a given individual. The approval date is noted in the "Transaction" field of the CPMS report. An officer would then request to see a passport showing pertinent entry and exit stamps and/or airline tickets that show when the applicant departed the United States. You can also run a check of entry/exit records through ADIS.
9 FAM 202.2-4(E) (U) Returning Resident Visas
(U) See 9 FAM 502.7-2 regarding application for and consular officer adjudication of special immigrant visas for returning Lawful Permanent Residents (SB-1).
9 fam 202.2-5 (U) PROCESSiNG BOARDING FOILS FOR Lawful permanent residents (LPRs)
9 FAM 202.2-5(A) (U) In General
a. (U) This guidance establishes standard operating procedures for issuing a boarding foil to an LPR at overseas consular sections when the LPR wishes to return to the United States but is not in possession of valid proof of LPR status.
b. (U) A boarding foil may be considered by the airline as evidence of the alien’s status as an LPR. It serves only to give notice to the air carrier that the U.S. Government does not intend to issue a penalty under INA 273(b).
c. (U) A boarding foil does not replace expectations for a traveler to present a valid passport or other valid travel document to CBP at the port of entry (POE).
d. (U) CBP's Carrier Information Guide provides that a boarding foil is not required if the LPR has:
(1) (U) An expired Permanent Resident Card with a 10-year expiration date);
(2) (U) An Permanent Resident Card (with a 2-year expiration date) and valid Form I-797, Notice of Action, indicating that status is extended; or
(3) (U) Orders from the U.S. Government (civilian or military) showing the time outside the U.S. was on official government business.
(U) These individuals should be encouraged to consult their air carrier prior to paying for Form I-131-A.
e. (U) If posts find local carriers that do not accept an expired Form I-551 as a valid travel document to the United States, please encourage the carrier to work with CBP liaisons to clarify the requirements.
9 FAM 202.2-5(B) (U) Consular Officer Role
a. (U) Pursuant to USCIS guidance, you may issue a secure boarding foil to an LPR whose Form I-551 or reentry permit is lost, stolen, expired (Reentry Permit must have been valid at time of filing Form I-131A), or destroyed/mutilated, if the alien presents a passport with an Alien Documentation and Identification System (ADIT) stamp or the consular officer is able to confirm the applicant’s LPR status as explained below.
b. (U) The LPR must appear in person to report the lost, stolen, expired (Reentry Permit must have been valid at time of filing Form I-131A), or destroyed/mutilated Form I-551 or Reentry Permit and file Form I-131A, Application for Travel Document (Carrier Documentation) to request a boarding foil, with proof of having paid the Form I-131A filing fee online, and the evidence requested in the Instructions for Form I-131A.
c. (U) The boarding foil will be valid for no more than 30 days, except in cases of lost Reentry Permits (see 9 FAM 202.2-5(C) below), and will allow the LPR to board a carrier to the United States and present him or herself to a U.S. port-of-entry as a returning LPR. The document is not a guarantee of admission or entry into the United States. CBP will carry out all required procedures upon the alien's arrival.
d. (U) Individuals with lost, stolen, or destroyed/mutilated Form I-551 can apply for a boarding foil if seeking to return from temporary foreign travel of less than one year from the date the individual departed the United States to the date the fee for Form I-131A was paid. The length of the absence will be measured from the time the LPR departed the United States to the time he or she pays the Form I-131A fee. A boarding foil can be issued on or after the one-year mark, as long as the Form I-131A fee is paid within the one-year period, i.e., less than one year after departure from the United States. If the fee was paid within the one-year period, but the LPR waits a significant amount of time prior to applying for the boarding foil at post, please consult with the VO/F I-131A portfolio holder.
9 FAM 202.2-5(C) (U) Procedures for Issuing Boarding Foils in Lost, Stolen, Expired, or Destroyed/Mutilated Legal Permant Resident Card or Reentry Permit Cases
a. (U) In General:
(1) (U) You must follow the procedures below in cases involving lost, stolen, expired, destroyed/mutilated Forms I-551 and in cases of lost, stolen, or destroyed/mutilated reentry permits; and
(2) (U) This guidance applies to all posts, including those with a USCIS office offering public counter service physically located in the embassy or consulate (“co-located” posts).
b. (U) Interview Scheduling: The LPR schedules an interview appointment using local post procedures to report his/her lost, stolen, expired, or destroyed/mutilated Form I-551, or lost, stolen, or destroyed/mutilated reentry permit and files Form I-131A, Application for Travel Document (Carrier Documentation), to request a boarding foil. Local procedures could include use of NIV appointment systems or GSS. Posts should determine how to best schedule these appointments.
c. (U) Confirming fee payment: Consular sections do not collect a fee on behalf of USCIS for this service. Instead, you must verify that the Form I-131A fee has been paid. The USCIS payment site instructs applicants to provide the receipt/confirmation page from the USCIS online filing system or the receipt that was sent to the applicant by email (Please note the original fee payment cannot be accessed online again). If the applicant no longer has the receipt email, fee payment can alternatively be confirmed through PCQS. You can review the applicant's information by either entering the name and date of birth of the individual, the USCIS receipt number, or the A-number. Under the "Payment Status" field it should say "Completed":
(1) (U) USCIS will not provide applicants a refund of their Form I-131A fee payment solely because the individual should have applied for an SB-1 instead of a boarding foil. Information concerning LPR boarding foil applications on embassy/consulate websites should clearly state that refunds will not be processed on this basis. Applicant questions about fee and refunds should be directed to USCIS ; and
(2) (U) Post must not collect the actual filing fee. The applicant will still be required to submit Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card, and pay the required fee once he/she arrives in the United States.
d. (U) Forms: On or before the day of the interview, the applicant must complete, print, and submit Form I-131A, Application for a Travel Document (Carrier Documentation), and all required evidence.
e. (U) Case Creation in NIV: Using the biographic data from the Form I-131A, plus passport number and nationality, a case is created in the NIV system by manually data entering the information. Select “LPR” as the visa class in NIV. All biodata fields must be completed, as applicable. For the address fields, enter the applicant’s U.S. residence address (not the mailing address) listed on the Form I-131A. “Visa type” will default to “X."
f. (U) Intake: The applicant appears in person for his or her interview bringing one photograph adhering to current visa photo standards (see 9 FAM 303.6-2(A)(1)). The photo is captured in NIV and fingerprints are collected for all LPRs age 14-79 (or 7-79 for Yemen and Mexico).
g. (U) Interview: The interviewing officer must:
(1) (U) Verify Identity: Request to see a valid passport, driver’s license, or any other U.S. Government-issued photo I.D. Verify the applicant’s identity by matching the facial image of the individual with the photograph in the passport and/or other identity documents, or in Customer Profile Management System (CPMS) via the USCIS Person Centric Query Service (PCQS) in the CCD (see 9 FAM 202.2-6, subparagraph c(1) below, for PCQS guidance);
(3) (U) Verify Time Outside the United States: Determine that at the time of I-131A fee payment the applicant has not been absent from the United States for more than 1 continuous year for lost, stolen or destroyed/mutilated LPR cards, or beyond the validity of his or her reentry permit not to exceed 2 years. If the applicant had a valid reentry permit that was lost, stolen, or destroyed/mutilated, then the applicant can be issued a boarding foil for up to 2 years from the date the reentry permit was approved. Request to see a passport showing pertinent entry and exit stamps and and/or airline tickets that show when the applicant departed the United States. You must also run a check of entry/exit records through ADIS (see 9 FAM 202.2-6, subparagraph c(2)) below. If time outside the United States is longer than permitted, the applicant may be eligible to apply for an SB-1 visa to return to the United States. If the applicant does not qualify for the boarding foil and decides to apply for a SB-1, a note should be added to the LPR boarding foil application case file, indicating that the individual will apply for an SB-1 visa. If the individual has filed an application to abandon LPR status (Form I-407), which can be verified in CIS 2 and/or CLAIMS 3 via PCQS, you may not issue the applicant a boarding foil;
(4) (U) Documenting Lost or Stolen Form I-551: Generally, an applicant requesting a boarding foil due to a Form I-551 that was lost or stolen should present a police report (if applicable and available) documenting when the Form I-551 was lost or stolen; and
h. (U) Case Notes and Scanning: The interviewing officer must add case notes related to the interview, results of PCQS and ADIS searches to the record as well as scan any documentation collected. Please be sure to select "Miscellaneous" as the document type from the dropdown list.
i. (U) Issuance: If post is able to determine that the applicant is qualified, the post may issue the alien temporary proof of status in the form of a boarding foil.
(1) (U) The boarding foil may be valid for no more than 30 days, single entry, unless other emergent circumstances exist. If longer validity seems warranted, consult with the VO/F I-131A portfolio holder. The foil must be annotated as follows (NOTE: This annotation may be selected from the dropdown of standard annotations available in NIV, as long as the A# is filled in as well):
(U) “NOT A VISA. BEARER IS A LAWFUL PERMANENT RESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES AND MAY BE BOARDED WITHOUT TRANSPORTATION CARRIER LIABILITY. A#”;
(2) (U) Post should advise the alien that he or she is required to have his or her permanent resident card in his or her possession at all times and that he or she must file an application for a replacement card (Form I-90) with USCIS immediately upon return to the United States. Form I-90 filing instructions are available on the USCIS website; and
(3) (U) When placing an LPR boarding foil in the passport, make sure to Cancel Without Prejudice (CWOP) any prior U.S. visa foils that may be present in the alien’s passport to avoid confusion at the port-of-entry concerning the alien’s status. If there is no room on the passport/travel document, then the foil should be issued on a Form DS-232. No prior concurrence from DHS or CBP is required before issuing the foil on a Form DS-232. (For instructions on use of DS-232, see 9 FAM 403.9-6(B) and 9 FAM 303.8-6.)
(1) (U) Applicants Reapplying: Posts may advise refused applicants that they can either reapply if they can provide stronger proof of their LPR status, or that they can contact the USCIS Contact Center directly for formal notification of LPR status.
(3) (U) SB-1 Applicants: If the boarding foil is not issued because the alien has been outside the United States for more than 1 year or 2 years if the applicant had a Re-entry Permit, and the alien appears to qualify for an SB-1 visa, then the applicant can be referred to the IV unit (see 9 FAM 502.7-2) after refusing the case under “RLPR” in NIV.
9 FAM 202.2-5(D) (U) Boarding Foils for Conditional Residents
(U) Individuals granted conditional resident status must file a petition to remove the conditions of residence with USCIS or the 2-year grant of status expires. If the individual seeking a boarding foil is within the 2-year validity of the conditional residency status, you may issue the boarding foil. If the individual’s conditional residency status has expired and he/she presents Form I-797, Receipt Notice, from USCIS demonstrating that a petition to remove conditions of residence has been filed, you may issue a boarding foil. If the individual claims to have lost his or her Form I-797, Receipt Notice, you must confirm that the individual filed Form I-751 or Form I-829 in PCQS or with USCIS via the dedicated email box FormI-131AConsInquiries@uscis.dhs.gov prior to issuing a boarding foil. If it is past the second anniversary of conditional residency status, and you cannot confirm the petion to remove conditions on residence has been filed, you may not issue a boarding foil without USCIS concurrence, and you should contact the USCIS mailbox. See 9 FAM 202.2-2, paragraph c, for additional information on conditional resident status.
9 FAM 202.2-6 (U) Verification of Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) Status
a. (U) Establishing Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) Status:
(1) (U) Form I-551: A valid, unexpired Form I-551, Permanent Resident Card (also known as a “green card”), is the primary evidence of an alien's status as a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) of the United States;
(2) (U) ADIT stamp: An Alien Documentation and Identification system (ADIT) stamp may establish LPR status. You should be aware, however, that you may encounter passports with counterfeit ADIT stamps. Any questions on the legitimacy of an ADIT stamp should be directed to DHS. See 9 FAM 202.2-7(B) below for more information on LPR travel with an ADIT stamp; and
(3) (U) In the absence of a Form I-551 or valid ADIT stamp, it may be necessary to verify LPR status by other means; see paragraph b of this section for returning resident (SB-1) immigrant visa applicants, and paragraph c for individuals requesting boarding foils based on lost, stolen, or expired Form I-551 cards.
c. (U) Verification of LPR Status (Boarding Foils for Lost, Stolen or Expired I-551):
(1) (U) Using PCQS to Verify Previous Issuance of a Permanent Resident Card: In the absence of a valid ADIT stamp in the passport, you may issue a boarding foil without referral to your local or regional CBP or ICE office(s) or USCIS for verification if appropriate checks are run in the USCIS Person Centric Query Service (PCQS) in the CCD:
(a) (U) You must verify the alien’s LPR status using PCQS, which is available under the Other Agencies/Bureaus tab in the CCD. Using the PCQS, you must run a check through the Central Index System (CIS) and Customer Profile Management System (CPMS) to ensure that the subject is in fact an LPR of the United States;
(b) (U) Entry of the alien’s name and date of birth (DOB), or preferably the A number, into PCQS should give you access to the alien’s record in the CIS and CPMS, which will include a photograph of the alien (in the CPMS record) and information about of the alien’s Form I-551; and
(2) (U) Using ADIS to Verify Date of Departure of Alien from the United States: The DHS Arrival Departure Information System (ADIS) contains records of aliens’ arrivals and departures to and from the United States by air. You must use ADIS to determine when the alien last departed the United States:
(a) (U) To check ADIS, use the Send ADIS Request report in the CCD under the Cross Applications tab, or you may use the “Alt+O” shortcut function from the NIV Print Authorization Window. If there is no record in ADIS of the alien’s last departure from the United States, other evidence, such as airplane tickets, may be considered (NOTE: If the CCD ADIS report does not provide results, you may request that the Fraud Prevention Unit (FPU) conduct further research in post’s standalone version of ADIS, which allows a more flexible search.); and
(b) (U) If the alien has been outside the United States for a year or more and did not obtain a Reentry Permit, then the alien is not eligible for a boarding foil, and must apply for a visa to return to the United States;
(a) (U) Was an LPR at the time of departure from the United States;
(b) (U) Maintains a residence in the United States;
(c) (U) At the time of departure, intended to return to the United States; and
(d) (U) Has not been outside the United States for a year or more;
9 FAm 202.2-7 (U) Lawful PErmanent resident (LPR) Travel Documents
a. (U) The regulations of the Department of Homeland Security contained in 8 CFR 211.1(b) relating to waivers of documentary requirements for immigrants provide for admission of certain aliens without visas. An unexpired immigrant visa (IV), Reentry Permit, or other valid entry document is required of an immigrant under INA 212(a)(7) except as indicated below.
b. (U) To satisfy INA 212(a)(7) documentary requirements, a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) of the United States is generally required to present a valid, unexpired Form I-551, Permanent Resident Card (also known as a “green card”), when seeking admission into the United States. See 9 FAM 202.2-7(A) for additional details on LPR travel with a Form I-551.
c. (U) LPRs may also travel with a valid ADIT stamp (see 9 FAM 202.2-7(B)), a boarding foil (see 9 FAM 202.2-7(C)), a Reentry Permit, a Refugee Travel Document or a Returning Resident visa (SB-1) (see 9 FAM 202.2-7(E)). LPRs may also request admission based on a DHS waiver of documentary requirements (see 9 FAM 202.2-7(F)).
9 FAM 202.2-7(A) (U) LPR Travel with a Permanent Resident Card (Form I-551)
a. (U) Form I-551, “Green Card”: Form I-551 is the primary evidence of an alien's status as an LPR of the United States. Under normal circumstances, an LPR of the United States is required to present a valid, unexpired Form I-551, Permanent Resident Card (also known as a “green card”), when seeking admission into the United States. The bearer may use this card, in conjunction with his or her national passport, and any other necessary documentation, to board a U.S.-bound flight and apply for admission into the United States. If an LPR’s Form I-551 is lost, stolen, or expires while the alien is temporarily outside of the United States, a transportation company may refuse to board the alien (see 9 FAM 202.2-4 above and 9 FAM 202.2-7(C) below on issuance of boarding foils in such circumstances).
b. (U) LPR Returning to United States: A lawful permanent resident returning to an unrelinquished domicile in the United States may not require a visa if the alien:
(1) (U) Possesses a valid Form I-551, Permanent Resident Card, and is returning to an unrelinquished residence in the United States after a temporary absence abroad not exceeding 1 year; or
(2) (U) Possesses an expired Form I-551 (valid for 10 years) if the expiration date is the only reason for not boarding the alien. If an alien is in possession of an expired Form I-551 with a 2-year expiration date (a conditional permanent resident), see 9 FAM 202.2-7(A), subparagraph c(2) below).
c. (U) Conditional LPRs: A Lawful Permanent Resident with conditional status (see 9 FAM 202.2-2, paragraph c above) returning to an unrelinquished domicile in the United States may not require a visa if the alien:
(1) (U) Possesses an unexpired Form I-551, provided the alien is returning prior to the second anniversary of the date on which he or she obtained conditional residence under INA 216 or within 6 months of the date of filing a joint petition to remove conditional status obtained under INA 216, and is in possession of a receipt for such filing; or
(2) (U) Is seeking admission or readmission after a temporary absence of less than one year, possesses an expired Form I-551, accompanied by a computer-generated filing receipt issued by DHS USCIS within the previous 6 months indicating that the applicant has applied for removal of conditional status (Form I-751, Petition to Remove the Conditions on Residence, or Form I-829, Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions) or has been granted a waiver. An alien in possession of an expired permanent resident card with a two-year expiration date must continue to have evidence that the Form I-551 expiration date has been extended.
d. (U) Crewmembers: A visa is not required of a resident alien crewmember who is in possession of a valid Form I-551 and is:
(1) (U) Regularly serving aboard an aircraft or vessel of U.S. registry; and
(2) (U) Returning after a temporary absence abroad of any length in connection with duties as a crewmember.
e. (U) Civilian or Military Employee of the U.S. Government:
(1) (U) An LPR employee of the U.S. Government, civilian or military, who is outside the United States pursuant to official orders may present a valid or expired Form I-551 when applying for admission into the United States even after being absent from the United States for one year or more (8 CFR 211.1(a)(6)). In addition, the LPR spouse or child of such an employee who resided abroad while the employee was on overseas duty and who is proceeding, accompanying, or following to join within four months of the employee returning to the United States, does not have to present a valid Form I-551. The official orders must mention that the LPR spouse or child is authorized to reside and accompany the employee abroad for the specific period of time under consideration. Occasionally a transportation company will not accept the official orders to board the LPR and will request a boarding foil from the consular section. You should make every effort to accommodate this request (see 9 FAM 202.2-5 above for additional information on boarding foils);
(2) (U) Use of Form I-551, Permanent Resident Card, by Alien Armed Forces Members Discharged Abroad: An alien member of the U.S. Armed Forces (see subparagraph e(4) of this section for a definition of this term) previously lawfully admitted for permanent residence and serving abroad is considered to be constructively present in the United States. Such an alien discharged abroad may apply for readmission using the Form I-551, provided the stay abroad does not exceed 1 year from the date of discharge;
(3) (U) Spouse and Children of U.S. Armed Forces Members or U.S. Government Civilian Employees Stationed Abroad:
(a) (U) The permanent resident spouse or child of a civilian or military employee of the U.S. Government outside the United States pursuant to official orders, who has resided with such employee abroad, does not require a visa if:
(i) (U) The spouse or child possesses a valid or expired Form I-551;
(ii) (U) Has gone abroad accompanying or following-to join such a spouse, or married the U.S. Armed Forces member or U.S. Government employee while abroad, even if the alien has been abroad more than 1 year, provided the alien would have been eligible to receive a visa as a returning resident alien at the time the marriage occurred;
(iii) (U) Resided abroad while the employee or service person was on duty abroad; and
(iv) (U) Is preceding, accompanying, or following to join the employee or service person (principal alien) to the United States; and
(b) (U) In interpreting the provisions of 8 CFR 211.1(b)(1) waiving the visa requirement for the spouses and children of Armed Forces members or U.S. Government civilian employees serving abroad, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has held that:
(i) (U) The spouse or child need not physically accompany the Armed Forces member or civilian employee in order to benefit from the visa waiver if the alien is preceding or following-to-join the member or employee;
(ii) (U) An alien who does not physically accompany the Armed Forces member or employee to the United States must possess evidence that he or she is the spouse or child of a member or employee who was stationed abroad on official orders and that the spouse or parent was previously lawfully admitted for permanent residence; and
(iii) (U) To benefit from the waiver, it is not material whether the member or employee was discharged abroad, or whether the spouse or child is residing in a country different from that in which the principal alien is stationed, provided all other criteria for the waiver are met; and
(4) (U) Interpreting Term “Member of U.S. Armed Forces”: The term “member of the U.S. Armed Forces” as used in 22 CFR 42.1(b) embraces military personnel only. It does not include civilians employed by or attached to the Armed Forces or working for firms under contract to the Armed Forces.
f. (U) American University of Beirut Employees: A lawful permanent resident (LPR) returning to an unrelinquished domicile in the United States may not require a visa if the alien possesses Form I-551, valid or expired, and is an employee of the American University of Beirut who is returning to a permanent residence in the United States after temporary employment with the University (beneficiaries of Private Law 98-53). A lawful permanent resident alien employed by the AUB may present a Form I-551, Permanent Resident Card, in lieu of an immigrant visa (IV), provided the alien:
(1) (U) Presents evidence of LPR status;
(2) (U) Presents proof of AUB employment;
(3) (U) Was employed by the AUB immediately prior to traveling to the United States;
(4) (U) Seeks admission either to remain temporarily in the United States and then resume employment with the AUB; or
(5) (U) Intends to resume permanent residence in the United States.
g. (U) Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) Alien Commuters Residing and Employed in Contiguous Territory (Canada or Mexico):
(1) (U) An alien who has been lawfully admitted for permanent residence may commence or continue to reside in foreign contiguous territory. The alien must present a valid Form I-551, Permanent Resident Card, in lieu of an immigrant visa (IV) and passport. Such alien may commute as a special immigrant, as defined in INA 101(a)(27)(A), to the alien's place of employment in the United States to engage in daily or seasonal work which, on the whole, is regular and stable (see DHS regulations at 8 CFR 211.5); and
(2) (U) An alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence may continue to reside in foreign contiguous territory and commute as a special immigrant defined under INA 101(a)(27)(A) to his or her place of employment in the United States. An alien commuter who has been out of regular employment in the United States for a continuous period of 6 months will be deemed to have lost residence status, notwithstanding temporary entries in the interim for other than employment purposes. However, an exception applies when employment in the United States was interrupted for reasons beyond the alien's control other than lack of a job opportunity or the commuter can demonstrate that he or she has worked 90 days in the United States in the aggregate during the 12-month period preceding the application for admission into the United States.
9 FAM 202.2-7(B) (U) LPR Travel with a Valid ADIT Stamp
a. (U) When an LPR presents a passport with an Alien Documentation and Identification System (ADIT) stamp indicating admission to the United States as an LPR (or adjustment to that status), the LPR may travel (without a boarding foil) while the ADIT stamp is valid.
b. (U) You should be aware, however, that you may encounter passports with counterfeit ADIT stamps. Any questions on the legitimacy of an ADIT stamp should be directed to DHS.
c. (U) Before advising the alien or the transportation carrier that a valid ADIT stamp is sufficient evidence of probable LPR status, you should make all reasonable efforts locally to verify the alien's claimed status. This generally can be accomplished by checking immigrant visa records in the CCD and using the Person Centric Query Service (available under the Other Agencies/Bureaus tab in the CCD – see 9 FAM 202.2-6, subparagraph c(1) above).
d. (U) Features of a Valid ADIT stamp:
(1) (U) The ADIT stamp should read:
Upon endorsement, serves as
Temporary I-551 evidencing
Permanent Residency for 1 year.
Valid Until [date]
(2) (U) In addition, directly below the stamp and to the left, the issuing officer should have written the A-number and the class of admission.
9 FAM 202.2-7(C) (U) LPR Travel with a Boarding Foil
(U) If the LPR does not have a valid Form I-551 or ADIT stamp, a consular officer, at posts where there is not a DHS counter presence, may issue a secure boarding foil to facilitate the boarding of an in-status LPR on a U.S.–bound flight and the application for admission to the United States. A consular officer may issue a secure boarding foil to an LPR whose Form I-551 is lost, stolen, or expired, if the alien presents a passport with an Alien Documentation and Identification System (ADIT) stamp or the consular officer is able to confirm the applicant’s LPR status. See additional information on the consular officer role in issuing boarding foils in 9 FAM 202.2-5(B) above.
9 FAM 202.2-7(D) Unavailable
9 FAM 202.2-7(E) (U) LPR Travel with Other Documents
a. (U) Reentry Permit:
(1) (U) An immigrant returning to an unrelinquished lawful permanent U.S. residence after a temporary absence abroad not exceeding 2 years may present a valid, unexpired Permit to Reenter the United States (Form I-327) in lieu of an immigrant visa (IV);
(2) (U) In the absence of contrary evidence, the Department presumes that application for a Reentry Permit prior to departure is prima facie evidence of intent to retain LPR status. However, failure to obtain a Reentry Permit should not be viewed automatically as intent to abandon residence and LPR status. A Reentry Permit, unless otherwise restricted, is valid for a maximum of two years and cannot be renewed. An alien cannot apply for a Reentry Permit outside the United States; and
(3) (U) Lost/Stolen Re-Entry Permits: Individuals whose Reentry Permit was lost or stolen can apply for a boarding foil in the same manner as those who lost their Form I-551 (see 9 FAM 202.2-5 above). An individual could receive a boarding foil until 2 years from the date the applicant left the United States to the date the I-131A was paid. To confirm whether a Reentry Permit was issued, you should review the PCQS case record. The USCIS Customer Profile Management Service (CPMS) in PCQS serves as the best report for confirming whether USCIS approved a Reentry Permit for a given individual. An approval date can be found in the "Transaction" field of the CPMS report. A consular officer would then request to see a passport showing pertinent entry and exit stamps and and/or airline tickets that show when the applicant departed the United States. You can also run a check of entry/exit records through ADIS.
b. (U) Refugee Travel Document:
(1) (U) DHS issues refugee travel documents on Form I-571, Refugee Travel Document, in implementation of Article 28 of the United Nations Convention of July 28, 1951. Form I-571 entitles refugees to return to the United States, provided such persons have not abandoned their residence, lost their refugee status, or become excludable; and
(2) (U) In some instances, a lawful permanent resident alien may be issued a refugee travel document, but only upon surrender of any prior Reentry Permit. A valid Refugee Travel Document (Form I-571) issued to an asylee, refugee, or lawful permanent resident (LPR) should be regarded as a Reentry Permit. See 9 FAM 203.7 for additional information on Refugee Travel Documents and consular officers’ role in handling requests for extra pages and dealing with lost Refugee Travel Documents.
c. (U) Returning Resident (SB-1) Visa: Lawful permanent resident (LPR) aliens who are unable to return to the United States within the travel validity of their Form I-551, Permanent Resident Card, or Reentry Permit may apply at a U.S. embassy or consulate for a special immigrant Returning Resident (SB-1) visa. See 9 FAM 502.7-2 for additional information on SB-1 visas.
9 FAM 202.2-7(F) (U) LPR Travel with DHS Waiver
(U) An immigrant returning to an unrelinquished residence in the United States who does not possess a valid immigrant visa (IV), Form I-551, a Permit to Reenter the United States, or a Refugee Travel Document may be granted a waiver under INA 211(b), if the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) district director of the port of entry (POE) is satisfied that there is good cause for failure to present the document. See 9 FAM 305.1 for additional information on DHS waivers of documentary requirements.
9 FAM 202.2-8 (U) Loss of Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) status
a. (U) Consular officers are not authorized to make determinations concerning loss or retention of LPR status. However, see 9 FAM 502.7-2 for a discussion of eligibility for Returning Resident (SB-1) status and the consular role in adjudicating such cases.
b. (U) Voluntary Abandonment of LPR Status: An individual may have lost LPR status by voluntarily abandoning his or her LPR status. The abandonment may be recorded via Form I-407, Record of Abandonment of Lawful Permanent Resident Status, or other document recording the abandonment, as described further below, but in many cases the LPR status will be considered abandoned even when no form has been filed.
(1) (U) Surrendering Form I-551: In a case in which the applicant has abandoned LPR status and wishes to voluntarily surrender his or her Form I-551, you may recommend (but not encourage or require) hat the applicant complete Form I-407 (see 9 FAM 202.2-8, paragraph c below for additional guidance) and send it along with the alien's Form I-551 to the USCIS Eastern Forms Center. You may not require a visa applicant to relinquish Form I-551 as a condition to issuance of either an IV or NIV; and
(2) (U) You should keep in mind that it is not the statement relinquishing LPR status by itself, but the absence of a fixed continuous, uninterrupted intent to permanently reside in the United States, that results in the loss of LPR status.
c. (U) Record of Abandonment of LPR Status - Form I-407:
(1) (U) Form I-407 provides a means by which an individual may formally record that he or she has voluntarily abandoned his or her LPR status. In addition to creating a record, Form I-407 is intended to ensure that the individual knowingly, voluntarily, willingly, and affirmatively records the abandonment of his or her status. The decision to abandon LPR status is strictly voluntary and consular staff should not encourage or require individuals to abandon LPR status or to record such an abandonment on Form I-407.
(2) (U) Who Can File Form I-407: Any individual with LPR status may file Form I-407 to formally record voluntary abandonment of LPR status. The parent(s) or legal guardian(s) of an individual who is 14 years of age or younger may file Form I-407 on behalf of the minor. Form I-407 may be filed by individuals who are outside of the United States or at a port-of-entry. Form I-407 also may be filed by individuals who were admitted into the United States as non-immigrants or paroled into the United States after abandoning a prior LPR status.
(3) (U) Documents required for filing Form I-407 by mail outside of the United States:
(a) (U) Completed, signed Form I-407, or signed statement of abandonment (see paragraph 21 below);
(b) (U) Form I-551, if available. If not available, the appropriate box on the form, should be checked; and
(c) (U) All other USCIS - issued booklets and cards, if applicable;
(4) (U) How to File I-407: As of July 1, 2019, Form I-407 is accepted by mail only, except in exceptional circumstances. Consular sections should NOT make available appointment slots for the sole purpose of accepting a Form I-407 by an individual.
(5) (U) Filing by Mail: Individuals must file Form I-407 by mail directly to the USCIS Eastern Forms Center. Consular sections should refer individuals to the Form I-407 instructions page for additional information on how to file by mail.
(6) (U) Limited Filing in Person for A and G applicants: USCIS has delegated authority to consular officers to accept and process Form I-407 only in limited, exceptional circumstances that would require immediate proof of the abandonment of LPR status, such as when individuals are applying for an A or G visa. The Visa Office has determined that the only time in person filing should be necessary is for A or G visa applications. Since LPRs generally are not permitted to serve as diplomatic agents in the United States, the applicant usually would be required to voluntarily abandon his LPR status or forego the diplomatic assignment in the United States. There are limited exceptions. See INA 247(b), 8 U.S.C. 1257(b); 8 CFR 247. In these rare cases, it may be beneficial to accept Form I-407 at post in order to ensure expedited processing, rather than having the individual mail the form to a USCIS office for processing. The processing of Form I-407 at consular sections is not an adjudication, and consular officers accepting and processing the form do not make a formal finding of loss of LPR status through abandonment. However, USCIS has determined that post may proceed with visa adjudication once the form has been accepted by the consular officer as the abandonment of status will be back-dated to the submission date once USCIS processes the I-407 and are only extremely rarely denied. Other nonimmigrant visa categories do not require proof of abandonment of LPR status, so post should adjudicate those cases without requesting an I-407.
(7) (U) Exceptional Circumstances requiring in Person Filing: If there are other special circumstances that may warrant accepting the form at post, please contact VO/F for approval.
(8) (U) Interviewing the LPR: In-person interviews of Form I-407 applications should be very rare. Individuals submitting Form I-407 in person must be interviewed by an officer only if there is any indication that the individual is not acting voluntarily in recording the abandonment of LPR status. The purpose of the interview is to ensure that the individual is acting voluntarily and to dispel any misinformation that may have led the LPR to believe he or she must submit Form I-407. However, if there is no indication that the Form I-407 is being submitted involuntarily, either on the statement on Form I-407, or in any statement made to consular staff who accepts the form at the intake window, an interview is not required; and
(9) (U) If an interview is conducted, you should confirm the identity of the individual and that the person filing Form I-407 is in fact the LPR. During the interview, you should ensure that the action of Form I-407 being signed is voluntary and that the individual understands the implications of abandoning LPR status. The officer should ascertain that the individual did not make the decision to sign Form I-407 based on misinformation or incorrect advice;
(10) (U) Before asking the alien to sign Form I-407, you must recite the following:
(U) Pursuant to USCIS guidelines: by signing Form I-407, the alien waives the right to a hearing before an immigration judge who would decide whether the alien lost his/her LPR status due to abandonment. If the alien chooses a hearing before an immigration judge instead, the alien would have the right:
(a) (U) To be represented at no expense to the U.S. Government by an attorney or accredited representative;
(b) (U) To challenge any evidence that DHS may present against the alien;
(c) (U) To present evidence in the alien’s favor;
(d) (U) To require that DHS prove, by clear, unequivocal, and convincing evidence, that the alien has lost his or her lawful permanent resident status through abandonment; and
(e) (U) To appeal a decision against the alien;
(11) (U) If you determine that the individual's action is informed and voluntary, you should verify the filing individual’s signature, and accept the Form I-407;
(12) (U) The individual should sign the Form I-407 in front of you. If the form was already signed, you should confirm that the signature is of that individual. There is no requirement for an oath;
(13) (U) The right to a hearing before an immigration judge can only be exercised in removal proceedings in the United States. An individual who resides abroad and who wishes to exercise this right will have to travel to the United States;
(14) (U) If an interpreter is used for the interview, the interpreter must complete Part 2 of the form, providing the language he or she is fluent in, his or her full name, his or her signature and date;
(15) (U) Parental consent: Generally, if a parent abandons LPR status, any minor children in that parent’s custody will also have abandoned their LPR status. If a parent, custodial parent, or legal guardian chooses to file a separate Form I-407 on behalf of a minor child, the parent, custodial parent, or legal guardian must show that he or she has custody of the minor child. The minor does not need to be present, but the relationship and identity of the persons signing for the minor should be clear and certain. If there is only one parent, guardian or custodian, proof (death certificate, custody decree, guardianship papers) must be submitted demonstrating that the person filing is indeed the sole decision maker for the child, and Form I-407 must be completed accordingly. A parent, guardian or custodian must have sole legal custody in order to file Form I-407 without the consent of the other parent. Consular staff should use local norms in determining and verifying that the sole legal custody requirement is met, and a copy of the applicable document should be submitted to USCIS along with Form I-407;
(16) (U) Following the interview, you should complete Part 3 (for government use only) of Form I-407. You should check Part 3, item 1, sign and date the form (in Part 3, items 4a to 4e). A copy of the signed form should be provided to the individual as a record of the action. Form I-407, Form I-551 (if available), any other submitted documents, and a cover letter to the USCIS Eastern Forms Service Center:
USCIS Eastern Forms Center
Attn: 407 Section
P.O. Box 567
Williston, VT 05495
If not using U.S. mail, the address should be:
USCIS Eastern Forms Center
Attn: 407 Section
124 Leroy Road
Williston, VT 05495
(17) (U) Fees: There is no fee for the alien. However, this service falls under the Economy Act agreement between DHS/USCIS and the Department of State and a no-fee ACRS receipt (service code 100) should be issued for accounting purposes;
(18) (U) Form I-407 and instructions on how to complete the form can be found on the USCIS website; and
(19) (U) The Form I-407 is only for recording the abandonment of LPR status, not for expired cards of LPRs who intend to keep their status.
d. (U) Loss by Rescission: Generally, within 5 years of an alien's adjustment of status, DHS may rescind an adjustment of status if it is later determined that the alien was ineligible for adjustment of status. In such cases, intent is not the issue: it is a question of statutory eligibility.
e. (U) Loss due to Exclusion, Deportation, or Removal: LPR status is terminated by the entry of a final administrative order of exclusion, deportation, or removal. The termination of LPR status occurs by operation of law.
f. (U) Loss by Reversion: Reversion terminates LPR status. Reversion is the process whereby an LPR can be adjusted to the status of a nonimmigrant to A, E, or G status. The LPR can prevent reversion by waiving all the rights and benefits of the nonimmigrant status. In such instances, DHS is without discretion and must effect a reversion when the alien fails to exercise action to contest the reversion. Thus, reversion is a change in LPR status that may be viewed as primarily driven by the operation of law. However, the alien's intent is important, because the alien can always prevent reversion by executing the statutory waiver of rights.