\ afm \ Adjudicator's Field Manual - Redacted Public Version \ Chapter 51 Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card. \ 51.2 Adjudication and production processes and issues.
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51.2 Adjudication and production processes and issues.
An alien files Form I-90, in accordance with the instructions contained therein) for either a replacement Form I-551 or a renewed Form I-551 (see Chapter 51.3 regarding the I-551 renewal process).
I-90 Standard Operating Procedures
Registration of Children Who Reach Age Fourteen
of the Act and
8 CFR 264.1(f)
require that within thirty days after reaching the age of fourteen, an alien in the United States not exempt from alien registration must be registered and fingerprinted. A lawful permanent resident alien complies with this by submitting a Form I-90 (without fee) in accordance with
8 CFR 264.1(f)
and the instructions on the application.
Temporary Evidence of Registration
Temporary evidence of registration and lawful admission for permanent residence may be issued to a lawful permanent resident alien, provided that the alien has applied on Form I-90 for a replacement Form I-551 (see
8 CFR 264.1(g)
Waiver of Visas for Returning Resident Aliens
If, at the time of application for admission as a returning resident, a lawful permanent resident alien is not in possession of a Form I-551 because it has been lost or he/she only possesses a Form I-151, a Form I-90 may be filed. If the alien is returning to an unrelinquished lawful permanent residence in the United States and has been out of the United States less than one year, the filing of the Form I-90 will be considered to be an application for waiver of the requirement to present the alien registrat
ion card as well as an application for a replacement card. See
8 CFR 211.1(b)(3)
. The pre-screening steps outlined above should be followed.
Certain aliens are admitted to the United States for Lawful permanent residence but are permitted to reside in Canada or Mexico while they commute daily or seasonally to work in the United States. As evidence of registration and lawful permanent resident status, these aliens are issued a Form I-551 which has been grommeted (i.e., a hole surrounded by a metal ring has been placed in the upper right corner). To obtain a replacement card, these aliens file a Form I-90 as any other lawful permanent resident ali
en would. Furthermore, an alien commuter taking up actual permanent residence in the United States must file a Form I-90 in order to obtain a replacement Form I-551 which is not identified as a commuter card. See
8 CFR 211.5
Special Agricultural Worker (SAW)
SAW's automatically adjust their status to permanent residence under Section 210 of the Act, however a Form I-90 must be filed for issuance of Form I-551. The I-90 must be filed with the
Service Center having jurisdiction over their place of residence.
Waiver of Photograph for I-90 Applicants Seeking a Replacement or Renewal Form I-551
Some applicants filing Form I-90 for replacement or renewal Form I-551s seek waivers from the requirement at 8 CFR 264.5(e)(1)(i) that all I-90 applicants provide photographs accompanying their applications. These applicants seek such a waiver based on religious grounds, stating that their faith prohibited him or her from being photographed.
In the past, the Service occasionally granted such waivers and distributed valid Forms I-551 without a photograph. This has resulted in some confusion in the field. The ADIT manual, for example, states that “religious/ethnic reasons” or “physical disfigurement” are possible acceptable reasons. The regulation at 8 CFR 264.5(e)(3)(iii) states that the photograph requirement may be waived only “in cases of confinement due to advanced age or physical infirmity.”
Since September 11, 2001, even greater emphasis has been placed on national security as it relates to the adjudication of immigration benefits, especially those where, as here, the benefit sought is a visa or the equivalent of a visa, allowing the bearer to enter the United States. Accordingly,
is at this time restating its policy annotated at
8 CFR 264.5(e)(3)(iii)
involving waivers of photographs for those seeking an I-551, whether as an immigrant visa entrant, an approved adjustment of status applicant, or as a current lawful permanent resident seeking either a replacement or a renewal I-551.
Form I-551 has multiple uses: it can substitute for an immigrant visa, or be used as evidence of registration, lawful status, and employment authorization. Because of the significance of the document, and the potential for abuse were it issued without a photograph, discretionary waivers to the photograph requirement are to be granted under the “cases of confinement due to advanced age or physical infirmity” exception of 8 CFR 264.5(e)(3)(iii) only as an absolute last resort. As in the past,
should continue to make reasonable accommodations for those of advanced age and with physical difficulties in order to allow them to submit a photograph for their I-551 renewal. However, only when officers can find no viable alternative to an I-90 or adjustment of status applicant submitting a photograph for an I-551 should a waiver under 264.5(e)(3)(iii) be granted. Further, such a waiver may be granted, as stated in the regulation, only in cases of confinement due to advanced age or physical disability,
and when the officer is reasonably certain that the card issued without a photograph will not be misused.
This discussion covers only waivers of the
. Certain alterations to the ADIT photograph requirements, in cases involving disfigurement, for example, are acceptable in accordance with past practice and guidance, so long as the person remains clearly identifiable from the photograph.
Effects of Failing to Submit Photograph
of the Act requires every alien to register and be issued an alien registration card “in such form and manner …as shall be prescribed under regulations issued by the Attorney General.”
of the Act requires each alien 18 years of age or older to have in his or her personal possession the registration document issued under section 264(d). As stated previously,
8 CFR 264.5
requires the alien seeking a permanent resident card to submit a photograph. Accordingly, unless the photograph requirement is waived, an alien is not in possession of the requisite registration document and therefore is not in compliance with the registration requirements of section 264(e) of the Act even though he or she is registered, if the alien does not submit a photograph in conjunction with:
An application for a replacement I-551.
An application for a renewal I-551. In this situation, non-compliance will occur when the I-551 that the alien is seeking to renew expires.
[(b)(2) or (b)(7)(E)]
[(b)(2) or (b)(7)(E)]
Interview of Applicant
When the other steps in the process have not been reconciled (USCIS, IRT, A-File review) an interview of the applicant may be necessary before a decision can be rendered on the application.
Post Adjudicative Process
[(b)(2) or (b)(7)(E)]
Disposition of Registration Documents Found in the Wrongful Possession of Another Person
When any registration document is found in the wrongful possession of another person, it shall be lifted, if possible, and forwarded with an explanatory memorandum, including copies of Form I-213 or sworn statement, or both, to the file of the alien to whom the document was issued. However, counterfeit documents or documents with alterations or photo substitutions, unless needed for prosecution or other enforcement purposes, shall be sent initially to the regional intelligence officer for examination.
For information pertaining to Presumption of Admission for Lawful Permanent Residence, see
of this field manual. For information pertaining to commuter aliens, see Chapter 21.8of the Inspector’s Field Manual. For information pertaining to abandonment of residence, see Chapter 17.10 of the Inspector’s Field Manual. For information pertaining to waivers under
of the Act, including children born during a temporary absence of the lawful permanent resident mother and children born subsequent to the issuance of an immigrant visa, see
Inspector’s Field Manual
. For information pertaining to documentation of lawful permanent residence for North American Indians under
of the Act, see
Inspector’s Field Manual