USCIS Using More Secure Delivery Service for Certain Immigration Documents

Effective April 30, 2018, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) began phasing in the use of U.S. Postal Service (USPS) signature confirmation restricted delivery service to send certain key documents, such as the original I-551 form (commonly referred to as a “green card”). This means that, at the time of delivery, the applicant must present valid identification and sign for the delivery. This delivery service also allows applicants to sign up for delivery status notifications via the USPS website.

Phasing in Delivery System

During the initial period of this project, this delivery service is being used for documents that need to be re-mailed after being returned as undeliverable. This includes green cards, employment authorization documents (EADs), and certain travel documents (e.g., reentry permit). Additionally, if an applicant’s mailing address changes after the application is filed, the USCIS is more likely to have subsequent secure documents sent via the new delivery method. The USCIS eventually will expand this service to all secure documents.

Adding Signature Requirement

As part of the new delivery method, the applicant must present identification to sign for the documents upon delivery. Alternatively, an agent may be designated to sign on behalf of the applicant by completing the applicable USPS form, as detailed in the USCIS announcement.

Alternatively, an applicant may arrange to have the document held for pickup at the post office. To set this up, the applicant may select the “hold for pickup” option on the USPS website.


This change in delivery service is designed to ensure proper delivery of critical immigration documents. It should also help in tracking these documents, and reduce the frequency of being loss or misdirected delivery.


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Disclaimer: The information provided here is of a general nature and may not apply to any specific or particular circumstance. It is not to be construed as legal advice nor presumed indefinitely up to date.