Green Card with “Signature Waived” is Valid13 Aug 2015
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued an explanation regarding signature waivers for permanent resident cards (i.e. green cards). This is in reference to situations in which a form I-551 (commonly, a “green card”) bears the notation signature waived, rather than the green card holder’s signature. As explained by the USCIS, such cards are valid proof of lawful permanent resident (LPR) status.
USCIS Omits Signatures for Children and in CP Cases
The USCIS has the authority to waive the need for the foreign national’s signature on the green card. This is typically done for children and individuals who are unable to sign. Since February 2015, the USCIS has also waived the signature requirement for green card cases filed for consular processing (CP). In CP cases, the foreign national obtains an immigrant visa at a U.S. consulate abroad and is then granted status as a permanent resident upon admission to the United States. This is an alternative to the adjustment-of-status process, in which an I-485 is filed for a foreign national who is already in the U.S.
USCIS Announcement Clarifies Green Card Validity
The signature waiver on green cards is an internal matter for the USCIS. This does not change the requirements to sign the various immigration forms needed for the green card process. It simply means that the individual’s signature will not appear on the physical green card. The USCIS announcement was primarily aimed at clarifying the reasons for the signature waiver and confirming the validity of these green cards.
Employers Should Accept Unsigned I-551 Cards as Valid
Green cards without signatures are to be treated the same as any other green card in terms of acceptance as proof of employment eligibility and permanent resident status. This clarification and explanation from the USCIS is appreciated.
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