Steps After I-485 (Adjustment of Status) Approval

After your adjustment of status (I-485) petition is approved, you (and your dependents who applied with you) need to go to the nearby U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) local office to get your passport stamped.

The I-551 stamp in your passport is temporary proof that you are a permanent resident of the U.S. Even though it may look like a simple rubber stamp, it is completely valid proof, just like the plastic greencard. You can use this passport stamp for all practical purposes that you would be able to use your plastic greencard for: employment, travel abroad and entry back into the U.S., etc. This stamp is valid for 1 year.

With the exception of children under 14 years of age, passport stamping is required. When you go for passport stamping, you would be giving them the passport-style photographs and fingerprints required to make your plastic greencard.

Taking an Appointment

USCIS offices do not offer walk-ins. You must take an appointment through INFOPASS to go for passport stamping. The USCIS does not entertain walk-ins.

While making an INFOPASS appointment, make sure that your computer is connected to a printer. You need to print out the online confirmation. You need to show your confirmation to the officer at the USCIS office. Make sure to carry the confirmation when you go for stamping because you will not be admitted without it. You will be asked to enter your zip code, and it will determine what local office you are required to go to.

In case you need to cancel the appointment later, you would need the identification number that appears near the bottom of the confirmation letter.

While taking the appointment, you must select the option that says, “You have received an approval letter or Form I-797C from the Service Center or local office instructing you to come into the office for alien identification card processing / passport stamp”.

Appointment for Dependents

You need to make a separate appointment for each person that is getting their passport stamped. If you take one appointment for the entire family, all of you may still be admitted into the USCIS office. However, you may have to wait many hours until everyone with an appointment is taken care of.

Dependent children under 14 years of age do not need to get their passport stamped. They receive a greencard automatically. The USCIS uses the photos from the I-485 application to make the greencard. Fingerprints will not exist on the greencard for such persons as they were not collected. In case you need to travel before the physical cards arrive, you can get the children also stamped.

Appointment Timing

It is safest to wait until you get the approval notice(s) in the mail before you make an appointment. However, as it generally takes around one to two weeks after the approval date for the actual approval notice to come in the mail, you should make the appointment around two or more weeks away. If you still have not received the approval notice before your appointment date, you can cancel that appointment and take a new one.

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You need to carry the following documents to your appointment:

  • Infopass appointment confirmation letter.

  • Mailed original approval notice (Form I-797C) of I-485 approval.
    An internet print-out of the approval notice is NOT acceptable.

  • 2 identical photographs.

  • Passport, valid for at least one year from the stamping date.

    If your passport is expiring in less than 1 year from the stamping date, you would need to take one additional photograph with you (for a total of 3 photographs). The officer at the USCIS will create a temporary card using an I-94 form, affix the additional photograph to it and stamp the card. This temporary card is equivalent to the stamping in the passport and is valid for one year as well.

  • Additional identification, such as a driver’s license.

  • H/L or any other visa papers such as an approval notice.

  • Form I-94.

  • EAD, if any.

  • Advance Parole, if any.

There are no additional fees required, and there are no forms to be filled at the time of the passport stamping appointment.

Even though some people argue that the H/L visa, EAD, Advance Parole, etc. are not required for passport stamping, it is best to carry them just in case you are asked for any of them. It is much more convenient to carry the documents that may possibly be required than taking another appointment and having to come back again.

After Stamping

You should receive your actual plastic greencard usually within two to four weeks of passport stamping. However, it may also take three to four months as well. As the temporary greencard is valid for one year, you will definitely receive your plastic greencard before that.

Just in case, for any reason, if you do not receive your plastic greencard before your stamp expires, you would have to follow the same steps as above and get it stamped again.

If you have set up an online account at the USCIS, at some time after getting the passport stamped, you will see the status of your I-485 case change to “Card Ordered”. You will also receive an email indicating that if you set it up accordingly.

Now that you have received a greencard, please read ‘retain greencard‘ so that you do not lose its validity.

In case you are moving soon, read change of address.

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For visitors, travel, student and other international travel medical insurance.

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Social Security Card

If you have a social security card that has any restrictions printed on it such as ‘VALID FOR WORK ONLY WITH INS AUTHORIZATION’, ‘NOT VALID FOR WORK’, etc., you need to get your card updated and get those restrictions removed.

If any of your dependents only have an ITIN number, they need to rescind ITIN after getting the social security number.

It may take around 10 business days for the Social Security Administration (SSA) to get the information from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) about your legal status change (becoming a permanent resident). Therefore, it is best to go to the social security office after at least 10 working days. Otherwise, they will have to request the information manually from the DHS, and it would cause significant delays.

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For visitors, travel, student and other international travel medical insurance.

Visit or call +1 (866) INSUBUY or +1 (972) 985-4400