The USCIS published a proposed regulation on August 22, 2007, in the Federal Register
that, when implemented, would require lawful permanent residents to replace permanent
resident cards (Form I-551) with no expiration date. The USCIS accepted public
comments on this proposal for 30 days until September 21, 2007, and is currently
reviewing the 298 comments received during the public comment period.
Note: This proposed rule in no way affects the current validity of these permanent
resident cards. Permanent residents who possess these cards may continue to use
them as proof of permanent residency when traveling, when seeking employment,
and at any time such proof is required.
What after USCIS review?
After USCIS has reviewed and considered the comments generated by the proposed
rule the agency will publish a final rule. USCIS cannot provide a time frame for
when the review will be concluded or when the final rule will be published.
What will the final rule state?
The final rule, once published, will explain the process to replace these green
cards. The final rule will also set the time period during which USCIS will accept
applications to replace these cards. To date, no time frame has been set.
When the period for submitting applications has ended, USCIS will determine how
long it will take to adjudicate the applications received. USCIS will then publish
a notice in the Federal Register establishing the date after which permanent resident
cards with no expiration date are no longer valid. This will ensure that affected
customers who have submitted their applications will receive their new cards before
the validity of their old cards expires.
Customers who hold these permanent resident cards with no expiration date may
replace their cards now, but there is currently no requirement to do so.
USCIS believes that the replacement of these cards is vital to the security of
the immigration process. New cards will provide the agency with an opportunity
to update the photograph and biometrics on the card. It will also provide the
cardholder with a card containing greater security features and remove from circulation
different versions of the same card.