USCIS Secure Mail Delivery: Coming Soon to a Mailbox Near You!

By Cyndi Dambacher & Nikita Hernandez of Sumner Immigration Law

Effective immediately USCIS will begin phasing in United States Postal Service’s (USPS) Signature Confirmation Restricted Delivery service to mail Green Cards and other secure documents.

What does this mean for you?

If you are waiting for a Permanent Resident Card (also known as a Green Card), an Employment Authorization Card (EAD, sometimes called a work permit) or other secure document (as determined by USCIS) you will need to do one of the following in order to receive your document from the USPS:

1 – Be present and show identification upon delivery by USPS. In order to ensure your presence at the time of delivery, we suggest you immediately sign up for USPS Informed Delivery Service (see instructions below). This service will enable you to receive alerts on all mail being delivered to your address so that you can arrange to be present at the time of delivery.

2 – Assign an agent to sign on your behalf if you are not available for delivery. You can assign an agent using USPS Form 3801 (please note: if you live in an apartment building where hand delivered mail is collected by your front office, you will need to fill out USPS Form 3801A). This form must be completed and submitted to your post office prior to delivery. Please also keep a copy of this form on hand should your agent have any problem upon delivery of your document.

3 – Arrange for pick up at the post office at a convenient time and date by going to the USPS website. For this option, you must wait for USPS to attempt delivery before visiting the USPS website. Upon delivery attempt, USPS will leave a notice in your mailbox containing an article number that you will need in order to set up a date and time with USPS to pick up your documents.

It is critically important that you make sure to follow the instructions above. If you do not, it is possible that USCIS will not deliver your document. Unfortunately, current USCIS policy is to destroy a green card that is returned to them as undeliverable after 60 days. If that were to happen, you would have to file for (and pay the USCIS filing fee for) a replacement document, and then wait for that request to be processed. Not fun or convenient!

How do I sign up for USPS Informed Delivery Service?

To sign up for USPS Informed Delivery Service follow these instructions:

1 – Visit and click “Informed Delivery”

2 – See if Informed Delivery is available in your area by entering your zip code:

3 – If USPS Informed Delivery is available in your area, you will be prompted to enter information pertaining to your address in order to set up an account. Follow the onscreen prompts and make sure to use an email address that you check regularly and the current address you have on file with USCIS. Once your account is set up, you will begin receiving a daily email summary from USPS which contains scanned images of mail that is being delivered to your address. Additionally, this service will allow you to automatically track the packages you are expecting, set up email and text alerts and enter USPS Delivery Instructions for your mail carrier. Check your email from USPS daily and look for any mail being sent from USCIS so that you can be present for delivery.

We are dedicated to continuing to represent employers, employees, families, and individuals in this challenging immigration environment. If you need assistance, please contact us today via email at, or by calling our office at 804-396-3412. We are immigration lawyers based in Richmond, VA, but serve clients across the country.

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