United States Immigration Services

Online Guide to U.S. Visas, ESTA, Green Cards & More

United States Immigration Services is a major publisher of immigration guides and legal eBooks. Our do-it-yourself immigration guides are designed to assist immigrants in navigating the complicated United States immigration system. We strive to provide the best information about immigration to the United States.

Form I-551 (Green Card)


The official name for the Green Card, or Alien Registration Card is Form I-551. Valid Form I-551 proves that an individual is legally allowed to reside in the United States.

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For foreign citizens who marry U.S. citizens, Form I-551 can be issued with conditions. A Conditional I-551, also known as a Conditional Green Card, is issued to foreign citizens who marry a U.S citizen. After two years of marriage, the foreign spouse must apply for the conditions to be removed. Foreign investors are also issued a conditional Green Card for the first two year. An I-551 permanent form is issued to investors and their immediate family members. It must be renewed once every 10 years.
Persons with valid Form I-551 must keep their original passport. The holder of a valid Green Card has the right to work and live permanently in the United States. A person who has Form I-551 must give up their Form I-551 if he or she wants to apply for U.S. citizenship. You cannot have both U.S. citizenship and a Green Card. It is not possible to have both U.S. citizenship and a Green Card. The U.S. citizen can now be considered a dual citizen, as he or she holds two passports.
For a variety of reasons, individuals with Form I-551 could be deported. Deportation of U.S. citizens is not possible. If a Green Card holder is convicted of a serious crime or has been living in the United States for too much time, they will lose their Form I551 privileges. Holders of Green Card should file taxes as residents and ensure they remain in the United States. One can have Form I-551 for their entire life, but not become U.S. citizen.