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Temporary I-551 Stamps and MRIVs

A machine-readable immigrant visa (MRIV) usually has the following text on it: “UPON ENDORSEMENT SERVES AS TEMPORARY I-551 EVIDENCING PERMANENT RESIDENCE FOR 1 YEAR.” When a new immigrant first enters the United States, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will stamp the passport with an admission stamp that shows permanent resident status and the date the new immigrant entered the United States. The employee’s foreign passport with the MRIV is evidence of permanent residence status for one year from the date of admission. Even if the MRIV is issued without the statement “FOR 1 YEAR,” employers should still treat the MRIV as an acceptable List A document valid for one year from the date of admission.

Here is an example of an immigrant visa with the CBP endorsement:

Image: CBP endorsed Immigrant Visa

If the stamp in the passport is endorsed and is near but not on the immigrant visa, it is still a valid endorsement.

In the example above, the employee’s MRIV expires and the employer must update Form I-9 by July 24, 2015.

Last Reviewed/Updated: 08/22/2014