INA § 264(e) - Documentation of Immigration Status

Several clients have recently asked about the requirement to carry documentation of their immigration status with them at all times. This is not a new requirement. The requirement comes from the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) § 264(e), which states:

(e) Every alien, eighteen years of age and over, shall at all times carry with him and have in his personal possession any certificate of alien registration or alien registration receipt card issued to him pursuant to subsection (d). Any alien who fails to comply with the provisions of this subsection shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall upon conviction for each offense be fined not to exceed $100 or be imprisoned not more than thirty days, or both.

Evidence of registration is defined in the regulations, and includes:

  • Your I-94 card (for nonimmigrant visa holders, such as H-1B, L, TN, etc)
  • Your permanent residence card (green card)
  • Your employment authorization document

If you have submitted an I-485 application and it is pending, it would also be a good idea to carry with you a copy of the I-485 receipt notice. Again, this is not a new requirement. As with all blog posts, this information is for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. If you have a question about how to comply with this statute, please consult with a qualified immigration attorney.

If you need assistance with a family-based or employment-based immigration matter, please contact our office at 804-396-3412 or at to learn how we can assist. We look forward to hearing from you!

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