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Original Green Card?

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  • Original Green Card?

    My wife has conditional residence status, and her Green Card expires in July. We have recently filed form I-751 "Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence" which is within the 90 days before the expiration date as stated in the USCIS rules. The package we sent with evidence of our continuing marriage, passport photos, and a color copy of the front and back of her Green Card, along with the filing fee payment, was submitted and received by the Lincoln, NE office. Within two weeks of filing, we received a notice saying they received our application package, and being behind, wouldn't be able to process our I-751 for approximately 6 months. They also extended her Green Card for another year.

    Yesterday, we received a letter from their office, which I'll transcribe in part here:

    "Your I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence has not been reviewed by an Immigration Officer to determine legal sufficiency or eligibility. In order to ensure that the case file is complete when an officer reviews it, please submit the following, if you have not already done so:

    Any documentations you consider relevant to establish... your marriage...

    Two passport photos...

    Your Permanent Resident Card ("green card"/Form I-551) and the Permanent Resident Card of your conditional child[ren], listed in Part 5 on your I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence, or if unable to submit the card(s), submit an explanation why.

    Make copies of this letter and the front and back of the green card you have. Attach the Permanent Resident Card to this letter (the original) where indicated below using transparent tape or a single staple at the edge of the card. If you have moved, write your current address in the blank area to the right of the address above. Mail the package (photos, letter with green card attached, and any additional evidence) to:


    All of the mentioned items in the letter we received yesterday have been submitted, including a color copy of my wife's Green Card, front and back. She needs her original card to continue to work in this area, and she may need to travel outside the United States within the next year. The instructions on filing form I-751 clearly stated to submit a copy of the front and back of her Green Card, not the original.

    This letter confuses me. Are they are asking for her actual Green Card?

    Is the Green Card and the Permanent Resident Card the same thing, or not?

    I'm thinking of sending a copy of the letter and the above reasons we submitted a copy of the Green Card and not the original to the office, unless there's a wiser move here. My wife thinks we should ignore the letter, thinking we already have sent everything we needed to. At first glance, I thought the letter was merely a reminder to have everything submitted with the I-751 form. What we don't understand is DO THEY WANT HER ORIGINAL, ACTUAL GREEN CARD?

    I'd appreciate any help anyone can provide.


  • #2
    Hi masmedia,

    yes, USCIS wants the original Permanent Resident Card ( known as Green Card). It looks like it is new way of doing it (thus nothing in the I-751 instructions about it yet). It should speed up the process of getting a new card.
    (A few years back photos were not submitted with the petition, so after the approval, one had to submitt photos and return GC. A year ago they start asking for photos with the petition, but the applicant still had to go to the local office to return the old GC. So, I guess if they have photos and GC, and digital image of fingerprint, they can just mail new GC)

    Your wife received Notice of Action. That's the proof of her status for employment and travel purpose (with the copy of GC).


    • #3
      thanks for the response... she needs her card for work and travel. It also says there if she cannot submit the origninal to explain why.

      Am I better off not sending the original and explain she needs that, or just send it in. If we send it in, how can she travel and work?



      • #4
        Just make an Infopass appointment and have her green card stamped showing permanent residence (this is sufficient for work and travel). When a person does this, the officer is supposed to take the green card and should make a note of this in the passport.


        • #5
          Sorry, I don't think this is the case. She DOES have a Green Card "Permanent Resident Card", which is coming up for expiration/renewal in July (it's a 2 year card). Her passport was stamped at the interview BEFORE she received her card.

          The aforementioned letter is also NOT a "Notice of Action". I received that just days after submitting the I-751 saying her card is extended for one year. If I send in her original card, does she need to use this lettter instead of the actual card?

          It is not clear if they do need the actual card or not.

          Been researching all morning to find a phone number to talk to a human being somewhere in Immigration Dept. anywhere in this country, and it seems impossible!
          Anybody know how a guy can speak to an actual person on a telephone in Immigration to get a simple question answered?

          Thanks for all your efforts!


          • #6
            Green Card is one form of proof that she is a permanent resident. The other could be a letter she received (are you sure it doesn't say Notice of Action or NOA (form I-797) on the top?), or a new stamp in the passport.

            I got a new I-515 stamp in passport and traveled/entered the US with it while removing conditions. Back then, the process took almost two years, so even the extension of GC would expire in the meanwhile.

            You can call USCIS customer service at 1-800-375-5283. You'll need a lot patience and a good reasoning as they may or may not give you the corect answer.

            Check this out


            • #7
              the letter I received that is causing the confusion is what is described as a letter written on yellow paper described on the previous post. Thank you for that link to the other post. Yes, there's nothing whatsoever that says "Notice of Action" or "NOA" or form I-797 on this letter. It's the same as what the other post describes, except mine is purple!

              Also, that 800 number is completely useless.

              I've already contacted my state Senator, and am hoping he can help.

              This whole process is ridculous, especially if they have a rule that says it's illegal to not have the card in your possession at all times (see other post)

              Thanks... hope somebody can help...


              • #8
                I was talking about the first letter your wife received confirming the receipt of Petition to remove conditions and extending the GC. That's so called NOA.


                • #9
                  yes thats what that one is. Nothing there about sending in the original


                  • #10
                    Anybody know how a guy can speak to an actual person on a telephone in Immigration to get a simple question answered?
                    Call NCS 1-800# number and follow the PROMPTS to speak to an IMMIGRATION OFFICER.
                    Speak to an OFFICER at the Service Center where your application is being processed, DO NOT speak to NCS rep. if you want to know anything beyond what is written on USCIS "case-status" website.

                    My understanding is that you need to submit original card (that's what I understood from what you claimed to be written on the I-751 letter you received from USCIS).

                    So, you will need to talk to an Officer, either through infopass or on the phone, and ask them how can your wife move around without actual GC.

                    One thing I would suggest is to file for AP.
                    She will have a picture ID valid for travel , and she can also use it in conjunction with SS card and DL for pretty much anything she would otherwise need her GC for.

                    Hope this helps,



                    • #11
                      thanks. I did try that and no one was avialable this morning.

                      Not sure what AP means...

                      still unsure of what to do here.

                      Being illegal to not have it, needing it for travel and work, plus having the instructions for the I-751 clearly say they wanted a copy not the original and now are the rules changed after the fact?

                      Why should I have to apply for something else when we did everything right?

                      I appreciate your attempt to help, but I'm even more confused and disgusted.

                      Thanks anyway. Have a good day.


                      • #12
                        Read the letter, comply with what they request and call them if you need clarifications.

                        That's the best I can advise you.