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Old Feb 3rd 2009, 4:29 pm   #1
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Default Differences between temporary I-551 and Green card?

What are the main differences between a temporary I-551 and a Green Card?
I know that having a temp i-551 you're not considered a resident nor admitted to the United States.

But I am wondering what the differences are? Can you get a drivers license on a temporary i-551? What can you not do on a temporary I-551?

Wow all the small things in the immigration soup of spaghetti o's.
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Old Feb 3rd 2009, 4:34 pm   #2
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Default Re: Differences between temporary I-551 and Green card?

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Originally Posted by zarya View Post
What are the main differences between a temporary I-551 and a Green Card?
I know that having a temp i-551 you're not considered a resident nor admitted to the United States.

But I am wondering what the differences are? Can you get a drivers license on a temporary i-551? What can you not do on a temporary I-551?

Wow all the small things in the immigration soup of spaghetti o's.
There are no differences. I-551 is the technical form name for the "green card", for PR status. It doesn't matter whether that's in the form of a stamp or a plastic card. It's the same status.

The only difference might be in the expiration of the stamp or green card. You might have an I-551 stamp which is valid for 3 months, for example, or 1 year. Only the stamp expires, not your status. You might have a plastic I-551 which expires in 2 years (conditional green card), which means you have to do more work to preserve your PR status. Or you might have a plastic I-551 which expires in 10 years, but only the card expires, not your status.

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Old Feb 3rd 2009, 4:36 pm   #3
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Default Re: Differences between temporary I-551 and Green card?

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Originally Posted by zarya View Post
I know that having a temp i-551 you're not considered a resident nor admitted to the United States.
Yes, you are. There are plenty of people who receive temp I-551 stamps while they are waiting for their conditions to be removed from their 2-year green card. They are still considered a resident, and they are still admitted to the USA after travel abroad.

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Can you get a drivers license on a temporary i-551? What can you not do on a temporary I-551?
Yes, but it's likely that the drivers license will expire when the temp I-551 stamp does. And you have to convince the guy at DMV that your I-551 is exactly the same as a green card. DMV folks are not familiar with all the forms the I-551 can come in.

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Old Feb 3rd 2009, 4:51 pm   #4
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Default Re: Differences between temporary I-551 and Green card?

Well in my case it would be being paroled into the country on a expired green card being sheduled before a immigration judge.

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Old Feb 3rd 2009, 4:54 pm   #5
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Default Re: Differences between temporary I-551 and Green card?

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Well in my case it would be being paroled into the country on a expired green card being sheduled before a immigration judge.

OK, you have an expired green card, and you know what will happen in your situation. Why are you asking about temp I-551 stamps and regular unexpired green cards, neither of which you have?
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Old Feb 3rd 2009, 5:01 pm   #6
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Default Re: Differences between temporary I-551 and Green card?

Because I am entitled to a hearing before an immigration judge and such hearings have major backlogs. Usually over a year or so, all depending on the state of course. In the meantime they will have to give me temporary I-551.

That's how it works.

I was just wondering what the difference was between me being on the temporary i-551 card and being a LPR with a green card

Last edited by zarya; Feb 3rd 2009 at 5:06 pm.
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Old Feb 3rd 2009, 5:02 pm   #7
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Default Re: Differences between temporary I-551 and Green card?

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Originally Posted by zarya View Post
Because I am entitled to a hearing before an immigration judge and such hearings have major backlogs. Usually over a year or so, all depending on the state of course. In the meantime they will have to give me temporary I-551.

That's how it works.
I see. In that case, once you arrive in the USA, and you receive a temp I-551 stamp in your passport, then there is no difference between that and a regular green card...just the expiration of it. Yes, you can get a drivers license using a temp I-551 stamp, as I said the license will be valid as long as the stamp is.

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Old Feb 3rd 2009, 5:08 pm   #8
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Default Re: Differences between temporary I-551 and Green card?

Thank you Noorah! I appreciate it
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Old Feb 4th 2009, 3:45 am   #9
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Default Re: Differences between temporary I-551 and Green card?

The only real difference is in getting other people to understand that they are the same thing.
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Old Feb 4th 2009, 4:57 am   #10
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Default Re: Differences between temporary I-551 and Green card?

Quote:
Originally Posted by zarya View Post
What are the main differences between a temporary I-551 and a Green Card?
I know that having a temp i-551 you're not considered a resident nor admitted to the United States.

But I am wondering what the differences are? Can you get a drivers license on a temporary i-551? What can you not do on a temporary I-551?

Wow all the small things in the immigration soup of spaghetti o's.
Hi:

Once you are admitted to lawful permanent residence, you are a permanent resident considered lawfully admitted to the United States, "such status not having changed."

The primary evidence of that is the I-551 card -- which comes in three flavors --

1. The temporary stamp in the passport, good for the period endorsed thereon.
2. The "conditional" I-551's given to certain marriage cases and the EB-5 investor cases. They are subject to a "condition" that if one does not apply to remove the condition, the status drops dead. The "conditional" I-551's are good for two years.
3. The normal I-551 card [nicknamed the "green card" back when they were actually green]. These are now valid for 10 years.

Please note that ALL three flavors of the I-551 constitute evidence of being "lawfully admitted for permanent residence." They are just that -- evidence only. There is no magic in the full 10-year term card. The "conditional" cards are also evidence of "permanent" status -- don't ask me to explain the contract law of "conditions" which Congress, in its infinite wisdom grafted into the law to allow "permanence" which differed from "temporary residence" which is a completely different thing. "Conditional" residence is still "permanent residence."

BTW, I think some people get confused and think the "I-551 stamp" is actually the I-551 and ignore the fact that the actual resident card is the form I-551. [BTW, if you see any references to I-151 -- that form is obsolete and no longer valid -- if anyone has one of those, you are probably still an LPR but need to get it replaced.]

Last edited by meauxna; Feb 4th 2009 at 4:03 pm. Reason: fixed typo for posterity. :)
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Old Feb 4th 2009, 8:52 am   #11
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Default Re: Differences between temporary I-551 and Green card?

There we go, explained in detail! Thank you Mr.
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Old Feb 4th 2009, 2:51 pm   #12
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Default Re: Differences between temporary I-551 and Green card?

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3. The normal I-551 card [nicknamed the "green card" back when they were actually green]. These are not valid for 10 years.
TYPO!! Me bad. "Not" should be "now."
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Old May 7th 2009, 7:34 am   #13
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Default Re: Differences between temporary I-551 and Green card?

Do I need to get a I-551 stamp if I'm traveling abroad or the I-551 card and extension letter will work ok?
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Old May 7th 2009, 12:36 pm   #14
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Default Re: Differences between temporary I-551 and Green card?

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Do I need to get a I-551 stamp if I'm traveling abroad or the I-551 card and extension letter will work ok?
Your expired I-551 card and the extension letter will be sufficient for travel outside the US. Don't forget to take your passort.

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Old May 7th 2009, 4:11 pm   #15
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Default Re: Differences between temporary I-551 and Green card?

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Your expired I-551 card and the extension letter will be sufficient for travel outside the US. Don't forget to take your passort.

Ian
Ok, i was rushing to go and get a stamp.
I still have a valid I-551 card, so it should be fine, right? The stamp is needed when the card and the letter is expired, right?

Thanks a lot in advance...
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