Getting a Green Card: ADIT Processing Explained

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If you've been approved for a green card, you may receive correspondence from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) that mentions ADIT processing. For example, it may read something like this:

  • “Your new permanent resident card should be mailed within 60 days following this registration or after you complete any ADIT processing referred to in the welcome notice, whichever is later.”

What on earth is "ADIT processing?" Don't worry, it's just a simple step in the process, to which USCIS has given a fancy name.

Also, not everyone has to go through ADIT processing – it’s primarily for people who haven’t yet received a stamp in their passport proving their U.S. permanent residence, or whose previous fingerprints had a smudge or other issue such that USCIS needs to redo them.

What Does ADIT Mean?

The acronym ADIT stands for Alien Documentation, Identification & Telecommunications System. It means that USCIS is calling you in for a brief walk-in visit in order to collect the information, photos, and fingerprints that it needs in order to create your actual green card.

By now, you probably know that USCIS doesn't hand you a green card as soon as it approves your case. If you’re coming from overseas, you’re likely to receive a “machine readable immigrant visa" (MRIV) as proof of your status until your green card arrives. The green card itself will arrive several weeks or even months later.

If you were already living in the U.S. when you became eligible for a green card, and you are getting your green card through the process known as adjustment of status (more about adjustment of status), and you attended an in-person interview at a USCIS office, you may have received a temporary stamp in your passport called an I-551. This stamp proves that you are a lawful permanent resident.

However, many people adjusting status receive only a letter of approval from USCIS by mail. This approval letter is not ideal for proving your status, because it doesn’t have your photo on it. So, at the ADIT processing appointment, USCIS will also put a temporary stamp in your passport called an I-551, proving that you are a lawful permanent resident.

What Will You Need to Do?

You will have make an appointment to visit your local USCIS office, using its online INFOPASS system. Then you will have to bring passport-style photographs that will be used for your green card, along with your letter showing approval for a green card and your passport (for stamping with the I-551).

Now that your green card is most likely secured, explore your options for getting U.S. Citizenship.

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