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How much travel flexibility does an EB-5 investor have with a I-551 stamp?

I am an EB-5 investor from Russia. I received an I-551 stamp in my passport while waiting for the actual green card. I will need to travel to Aruba next month. Aruba does not require a visa for U.S. green card holders. Does the I-551 stamp grant me the same level of travel flexibility as a green card? Can I enter Aruba with the I-551 stamp or do I have to apply for a visa to visit Aruba?

Answers

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    Salvatore Picataggio

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Ideally, wait for the card, but the stamp should serve the same purpose in the meantime.

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    A Olusanjo Omoniyi

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    It appears you should be able to enter Aruba because the I-551 serves as evidence of being granted conditional permanent residency in the U.S. However, Aruba immigration officials may require more than just the stamp, particularly any document that shows you were invited and attended a consular interview in Russia.

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    Marko Issever

    EB-5 Broker Dealer
    Answered on

    The I-551 stamp is essentially your proof that you are a green card holder. With it you should be able to travel in and out the United States and be able to live and work in the U.S. permanently. Whether the admissions officer in Aruba when you are entering that country knows that your stamp is equivalent to the plastic green card is the question mark. I would venture to say that the answer is "yes," but I would not take any chances. I strongly recommend that you pay a visit to Aruba embassy or call them to get clarity on what to do. The last thing you need is to get off the plane and not be able to enter the country there.

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    Charles Foster

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    An EB-5 investor with an I-551 stamp that evidences their conditional permanent residency has a great deal of flexibility to travel outside of the United States. It is evidence that one is a U.S. green card holder. So in practice, the I-551 stamp gives you the same flexibility provided that the authorities in Aruba have an understanding of what the I-551 stamp means, which presumably would be the case.

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    Julia Roussinova

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You are authorized to work and travel with an I-551 stamp and unexpired foreign passport. As for Aruba entry requirements, check with the local authorities.

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    Belma Chinchoy

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You can read about the stamp on the USCIS website. A separate consideration is whether the Aruba customs/immigration official will know what the I-551 stamp is. Discuss with your lawyer; perhaps an advisory letter can be obtained in advance of your travel. Or print out the USCIS page from the link above and take your chances.

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    BoBi Ahn

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Yes, the I-551 stamp is a temporary proof of your lawful permanent resident status until the card is produced so you can travel/work/reside in the U.S. If the card is the produced within the validity period of the stamp, you can make an InfoPass appointment with the local USCIS office to receive another stamp.

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    Lynne Feldman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The I-551 is equivalent to a green card for re-entry to the U.S. You are still a national of your home country with a U.S. green card, so contact the Aruba embassy or website to see if a visa is required.

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    Dale Schwartz

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    That stamp should get you in and out of the USA and into Aruba.

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    Jinhee Wilde

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The I-551 stamp in a person's passport indicates that the applicant has received green card status. A green card I-551 stamp means that someone can enter the U.S. with the right to live and work permanently in the United States. Thus, there is no restriction on travel because it is proof that you have received green card status.

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    Bernard P Wolfsdorf

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    A temporary I-551 stamp is a green card, and there is no need to have the plastic green card. Although it will likely arrive very soon, as they fast in issuing nowadays. To be safe, take a letter from your lawyer or a supporting document so they can see it is a genuine.

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