Clarity and Strength in Immigration Law

Receipt Notices for Green Cards: The I-751 Receipt Notice vs. The I-90 Receipt Notice

The question of the differences in the types of receipt notices for green card “renewals” is not exactly a riveting topic, but when it comes time to use that receipt notice for documentation of work authorization or to travel and re-enter the US, the type of receipt notice you have matters and is a hot topic for discussion in critical moments!

People often confuse the I-751 and the I-90. Both of these forms are used to “renew” the green card, but they are used in different circumstances. When a foreign national files for a green card based on marriage to US citizen or permanent resident, and when the couple has been married for less than two years at the time the green card is issued, the green card will be for conditional residence. This means that within the 90 day window before the conditional green card expires, you will have to file to remove the conditions, using form I-751.

On the other hand, if you have a permanent residence card (a 10 year green card), you will need to file to renew the green card using the form I-90. The I-90 is also used for other related purposes, such as replacing a lost green card, correcting an error on a green card, etc.

In either situation, when you file the relevant USCIS form, you will receive a receipt notice from USCIS. This receipt notice confirms that USCIS has received the filing, and will include a receipt number, which you can use to check the status of the case online.

However, there is a key difference between the I-751 receipt notice and the I-90 receipt notice. The I-751 receipt notice will say that the notice serves as evidence of your status and that you can use it as documentation of work authorization and to re-enter the US after you travel. The receipt notice can be used for these purposes for up to 18 months after the expiration of the conditional residence card, while the I-751 is pending.

That is not true for the I-90 receipt notice. That is, you cannot use the I-90 receipt notice as documentation that you are authorized to work in the US, or to travel and re-enter the US. If you need documentation of your status to work and/or travel while the I-90 is pending, you will need to have a temporary I-551 stamp placed in your passport. You can obtain this via an InfoPass appointment at your local USCIS office. Understanding exactly what type of filing you have, and what you need to be able to keep working and/or to travel and re-enter the US is essential for smooth processing. We are here to help clients navigate this confusing and often anxiety-provoking process!

We are immigration lawyers located in Richmond, VA but we serve clients throughout the US and around the world.  Contact us today to get started or to learn more about our services! You can call us at 804-396-3412 or send us an email to info@sumnerimmigration.com.

Sumner Immigration Law is LGBTQ-friendly.