What Is Form I-551?

Posted on November 5, 2010. Filed under: Immigration | Tags: , |

Form I-551 is the official name of the Green Card which is otherwise called as Permanent Resident Card. Form I-551 is an evidence that an individual is admitted to live in United States as a permanent resident. The Permanent Resident Card holders are granted many immigration benefits. The green card holder must maintain the permanent residence status and will be put in the removal proceedings if certain conditions of the his/her status are not met.

The Form I-551 is valid for ten years which must be renewed before it expires. If the Permanent Resident Card is valid for two years then it is called as Conditional Green card which will be obtained through marriage and it must be renewed before the card expires.

Also known as green card and alien registration card. The Green Card gives the right to an individual to live and work permanently in the United States, permits to work in any company or institution, permits to start own business or create own corporation, gives the privilege to sponsor spouse and unmarried children below 21 years to obtain Green Card, provides Social Security benefits, allows to legally own properties and vehicles, allows to leave and enter United States under certain conditions and apply to become a US citizen once the individual is eligible.

An individual may obtain the Permanent Resident Card though marriage, employment, refugee and asylum status and other various ways.

Who Is Eligible?:

Before applying for Form I-551, one must check whether he/she is eligible to apply for Permanent Resident Card. To qualify for the green card the individual must be an eligible candidate for one of the immigrant categories mentioned below, must have a qualifying immigrant petition, an immigrant visa available immediately and be admissible to the United States.

Immigrant Categories:

*Immediate relatives of a US Citizen – spouse and children of US Citizen, parents of a US Citizen (if the child is above 21 years of age), step children and step parents of US Citizen
*Family members of the US Citizen – spouse, unmarried children (if married, then must have at least one US Citizen parent), brothers or sisters of US Citizens.
*Employees and workers (who are offered jobs in US)
*Special Immigrants
*Refugees and Asylees
*Amnesty and Special Agricultural Worker Status
*Long-time residents (people who have lived in US legally for more than 10 years and request green card as a defense in immigration court proceedings)

Apart from these, the individuals may also qualify through the Diversity Visa lottery program which is administered by the US State Government every year.

Green Card Process and Procedure:

Generally, when applying for Form I-551 the individual must first determine whether he/she is eligible for permanent resident status. Then depending on the immigrant category, the individual must decide the process of the application. If the individual applies from outside United States, he/she must go through the Consular Processing which has to be done in the US Embassy or the consulate of their country. If the individual applies for Form I-551 while being in United States, then he/she must go through the procedure to adjust status to permanent residence.


Source: http://ezinearticles.com/?What-Is-Form-I-551?&id=5288195


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9 Responses to “What Is Form I-551?”

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Hello my name is Aaron Dorado Martinez and i need a permenant residence to obtain a federal grant to attend class and participate in classroom activities. This is the first time i apply 23 years of age now been here since i was 2 years old brought from mexico i understand your charge 59.99 is there any how i cant reduce because im on a low budget. My e-mail is house10110@yahoo.com thank you.

@Aaron Dorado: You really shouldn’t complain about the $59.99 fee this professional may be charging since there are people out there charging hundreds and in some cases thousands of dollars to do the same work!

I’m currently an international student on and F1 visa. My fiance and I are planning on getting married at the end of august. I would like to know how long it would take if I apply for a green card though adjustment of status. Thank you

Hi Sheshegirl,

I’m not in the position to tell the time it takes to get your green card because it depend with your case whether you have an special issues and you have to consider the backlog at your local USCIS office. Some process takes between four months to a year or longer. It also depends on your petition category.

I would like to work in USA
Plz advice me how can I get visa?

I am here on a student visa currently as an exchange student, I need to know the age requirement to apply for a green card and if I have a family (the one I am staying with now) willing me what the process involves. Thanks!

Student visa is categorized as a non-immigrant visa, this gives you the right to live temporarily in the U.S. while you are studying, but the F-1 student visa is not intended for students who want to live permanently in the America. Therefore, sorry to say but it is not possible to obtain a green card directly while you are on a student visa. However, since F-1 Student Visa has no restrictions, to get a green card some students, upon their graduation, they apply for a job and then they obtain an H1B work visa or some get what they called a “dual status” visa, after obtaining their H1B work visa they they use their jobs to get a Green Card through their employer.

Hi Pierrine,

The age requirement is 21 years of age or older. The most common preference to a Green Card is through a family based green card e.g. your relatives who is a U.S. Permanent Resident or a U.S. Citizen. Since you are a student you can begin applying for Adjustment of Status using Form I-485. Here, you are adjusting your status from a non-immigrant (student visa) to an immigrant.


Hello, My wife entered the USA on a K-1 Fiance Visa, we were married within the 90day required period,filed the I-185 (adjustment of status) along with the other required documents,mailed packet to local USCIS office. Any idea how long it will take for the processing? We are trying to get her a Social Security Number,State ID/Official photo ID, and a drivers license permit. We cant get the DL permit without a SSN! We cant get SSN without two proofs of ID? CATCH 22???? What am I missing here/do I just need to wait on the processing through USCIS??? If documentation is correctly submitted,processed and filed, what all does that give us?? GreenCard?? with the GreenCard then we get the SSN then the DL and State ID????? am I going about this properly??

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