Jump to content

Getting ahead of myself by scheduling an I-551 stamp appointment?

5 posts in this topic

Recommended Posts



I admit I get anxious about things like this and want everything tidied up and sorted - the thought of accidentally breaking the law breaks me out in sweats!

I married my USC husband on 10/21/2013, had minimal problems with the initial green card application and filed for removal of temporary status on 06/20/2016. Biometrics was on 07/19/2016 and since then it's been quiet. I know the process takes a while and I was fine with waiting. 

My i-797 expires on 06/20/2017 and when I try send in a request about my case status I get the "your case is within normal processing times" message. 

Today I hit panic mode as it's nearly the end of the school year and we are not technically supposed to take any days off during this last bit unless it's for emergencies. But I explained my immigration status to my principal and she was fine with me taking a day to get my I-551 stamp in my passport. I booked my appointment for 2 June and I wanted to know if anyone else had been in a similar boat and how the process went? Am I getting ahead of myself and will therefore, annoy a USCIS officer (which I really don't want to do!) or is it a good idea to get the stamp for work purposes? I will not be traveling anytime soon as traveling on a South African passport is a pain.

Also, my GC and passport are in my maiden name but, when I filed my I-751 I used my married name but put my maiden name under the "previous names" section. My I-797 letter is in my married name (as is my school ID - the only proof of my married name with a photograph that I have. They accepted my marriage certificate as proof of my new name). Will this cause any issues?


Apologies for all the questions! I just don't want to mess up and lose the job I love and have to jump through a billion hoops to get things back in order.


Thank you for any advice!


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

You do not need to book an appointment until about one month before the expiration date ON YOUR GREEN CARD.  The I-797 gives you another year from the green card date.  The date of the letter has NOTHING to do with it.  I know some people on here are sure it's the letter date, but it is not.


When did your 2-year green card expire?  Add one year to that.  Then, try to get an appointment about a month earlier.


Good luck!


Sukie in NY




Our Prior Journey

N-400 Naturalization

18-Feb-2018 - submitted N-400 online, credit card charged

18-Feb-2018 - NOA1

12-Mar-2018 - Biometrics 

18-June-2018 - Notice of interview received

26-July-2018 - Interview  - APPROVED!!!

26-July-2018 - Oath Ceremony Scheduled

17-Aug-2018 - Oath Ceremony



Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you Sukie!


My temp green card expired on 11 July 2016 and I sent my I-751 in on 20 June 2016. I received my I-797 letter giving me a year extension on my status while they reviewed my case. My letter is due to expire on 20 June 2017 and, since schools are sorting teachers and placements for the new school year, I don't want to let anything lapse and not be able to keep my job. Hence making an appointment for 2 June 2017 to get the I-551 stamp in my passport so I can continue to work until I receive my new 10 year green card. 


Good luck for your process too - it certainly is a long one!

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
59 minutes ago, Kimberleigh said:

Thank you Sukie!


My letter is due to expire on 20 June 2017

Ignore the date on the letter. 

The letter is valid until July 11th 2017- one year from expiry of the conditional GC. 

Important to remember that even if you didn't go get an extension stamp, your status is not affected,  merely your ability to prove that status,   and your right to work etc is unaffected even if you don't obtain a stamp. Sadly this can cause problems due to many people and HR depts being totally unfamiliar with this process (not to mention the DMV), so getting one is unfortunately the sensible thing to do.

Just remember that the letter/stamp serve as proof of your status - they do not dictate it.


I got one of my stamps 50 days before expiry of the current one- as long as it is a month or two before expiry of your current proof of status (or of course after it), they will do it. 

Edited by mindthegap

CR1 / DCF (London): 2012 / 2013 (4.5 months from I-130 petition to visa in hand)


I-751 #1 [Denied]


Early May 2015 : I-751 Joint filing package sent fedex next day 09:00am from UK ($lots - thanks). 
May 2015: Notice of receipt/1yr extension received, dated day of receipt. This was forwarded to me outside the US, and no issues re-entering multiple times.
June 2015: Biometrics completed - walk in / argument, stressing proof of imminent travel and multiple prior inconvenient appointments & reschedules.
May 2016: Vermont Service Centre updated to processing May 2015 cases, therefore my case is now classed as outside normal processing time
May 2016: Service request sent (whatever that is) after calling to find out why I am still waiting after 12 months. Unable to tell me anything.
May 2016: Letter received in response, stating processing is on hold due to 'pending security checks' with no other information. Not helpful.
May 2016: (7am) - Infopass appointment for I-551 Stamp in passport.  (8am) - Returned to USCIS office for another I-551 stamp after realizing the dumbass put the expiry stamp as 2015 not 2017. Two entire passport pages wasted. Cheers. 

Oct 2016: Infopass appointment (not at local office). USCIS have sent my file to an overseas office, in a country that neither myself or my spouse have ever resided in. It has sat there untouched for five months. Why? Who knows. Internal query requesting urgent clarification is sent by USCIS officer.  
Oct 2016: An identical 'pending security check'  letter received, addressing precisely none of my or the immigration officers legitimate queries. 
Nov 2016: Infopass appointment: My file is now back in the US and at my local office...no other updates or progress. 
Jan 2017: Notification that an interview has been scheduled at a local office. Bizarrely still no RFE... 
Jan 2017: 2hr wait, then interview terminated before it began, due to moving my ID to another state 2 wks prior. New interview 'in a few months...maybe.'       Informed them that divorce proceedings are underway, but not finalised at this time. 
March 2017: An Interview was scheduled - marked as no-show as they didn't actually send out a notification of interview. FML 
April  2017: Filed an official complaint with the ombudsman, and have requested Senator & Congressman assistance - enough is enough. 
May 2017: Yet another infopass. No updates, interview of further progress. Still no response from Congressperson, Senator, or Ombudsman received. 
June 2017: 68 days after contacting them, the Ombudsman finally contacted USCIS. 'It may take up to 60 days to receive a response'.   
July 2017:  A follow up enquiry sent by Ombudsman to USCIS after receiving no response or action after 45 days. I am Jack's complete lack of surprise. 
August 2017: 60 days has come and gone with no response from USCIS. Contacted the Ombudsman who will contact them AGAIN. 
August 2017: Email from Ombudsman - USCIS have scheduled an interview at the very end of August .  
August 2017: Interview - switched to a (finalised) divorce waiver. Told that decision will be made that afternoon, but no problems foreseen with my case. 
September 2017: Now 4 weeks since interview, my file has not moved from the officers desk, and no decision is showing when I call and speak to a Tier 2.  
September 2017: Request filed for Senator assistance (a different senator - maybe I will get a reply & assistance from this one?). 
October 2017: 37 days since interview....and no decision.  W, and indeed, TF is going on???? 
October 2017: Letter of Denial received - reason given as 'I-751 petition was not properly filed'. Discovered ex-spouse made false allegations to USCIS

I-751 #2 [Pending] 

October 2017: Within 72hrs of receiving denial notice, a new waiver I-751, divorce decree & $680 cheque, sent to Vermont via FedEx overnight 9am priority.  

October 2017: I-797C Receipt/extension letter received, dated day of receipt at VSC 

October 2017: Another I-551 stamp obtained at infopass appointment, as the extension letter is useless with a 2yr card that expired 2.5yrs ago! 

November 2017: Biometrics completed (early walk-in) 

2018: Re-entered US multiple times with second I-751 extension letter & stamp. Quick trip to secondary required to verify, and stamped in as normal


N-400 [Pending] 

February 2018: N-400 filed online.  $725 paid to the USCIS paperwork wastage fund

February 2018: Biometrics completed (walk-in)

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you!


I'm sorry it's taken me so long to respond. End of year madness.

It's a relief to know I have until 11 July but am booking an appointment for as soon after school finishes as possible - I don't want to write anymore sub plans this year.


Good luck with your case - it looks like you have been through a lot in 2 years!

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
Didn't find the answer you were looking for? Ask our VJ Immigration Lawyers.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
- Back to Top -

Important Disclaimer: Please read carefully the Visajourney.com Terms of Service. If you do not agree to the Terms of Service you should not access or view any page (including this page) on VisaJourney.com. Answers and comments provided on Visajourney.com Forums are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. Visajourney.com does not endorse, and expressly disclaims liability for any product, manufacturer, distributor, service or service provider mentioned or any opinion expressed in answers or comments. VisaJourney.com does not condone immigration fraud in any way, shape or manner. VisaJourney.com recommends that if any member or user knows directly of someone involved in fraudulent or illegal activity, that they report such activity directly to the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement. You can contact ICE via email at Immigration.Reply@dhs.gov or you can telephone ICE at 1-866-347-2423. All reported threads/posts containing reference to immigration fraud or illegal activities will be removed from this board. If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by contacting us here with a url link to that content. Thank you.