My wife's passport has a CR1 visa stamp on it from September 2016 for the USA. Underneath the stamp is a handwritten date for September 2018. I read from other sources that the CR1 stamp should expire after 1 year, but hers is dated for 2 years.

My question is, does that handwritten date define the terms of the visa, or is it still 1 year even if the handwritten date is different?

Another funny thing is the handwritten date appears to have been corrected - almost like someone took the 7 of 2017 and made it into 2018. Would that raise any red flags?

This question is for the same flight as the following post: Send a green card behind immigration

  • If you are talking about an entry stamp I don't think that date means anything more than the fact that her current status as a LPR lasts 2 years (after which you'll need to remove the condition to make it permanent). This is unrelated to the issue of how long the visa serves as a temporary I-551; that is 1 year.
    – user38879
    Apr 3, 2018 at 17:22
  • 1
    When did she enter the US?
    – user102008
    Apr 3, 2018 at 19:06
  • September 2016 was the first entry under the VISA. @Dennis that seems to be the right answer - it is expired as a temporary visa
    – Alex K
    Apr 4, 2018 at 2:04

4 Answers 4


First of all, the visa is invalid now as immigrant visas are single-use. Upon entering the US with the immigrant visa, she immediately became a US permanent resident. Since she got permanent residency by being petitioned by a spouse, if she had been married to you for less than 2 years on the day she entered, she became a conditional permanent resident. Her conditional permanent resident status lasts for 2 years from the date she entered, and this is also reflected on her physical green card. She will need to apply for Removal of Conditions in the 90-day window before then.

The immigrant visa has a line of text on it that says "upon endorsement serves as temporary I-551 evidencing permanent residence for 1 year". The "endorsement" is being stamped (with an entry stamp) when she entered with the immigrant visa. The fact that she entered and got an entry stamp on that immigrant visa automatically turned it into an I-551 (equivalent to a green card for all purposes) valid until exactly 1 year after the date of entry. That "expiration" date of that I-551 does not need to be written anywhere; it is implied by the date of entry (on the entry stamp) and the text on the visa, and nothing they write would change that.

I am not sure what the handwritten date you are referring to means. You did not mention the date she entered (you said the visa was from 2016, but since the immigrant visa is valid for 6 months, she could have entered in 2016 or the first half of 2017), and so it is unclear whether this handwritten date is 1 year or 2 years after she entered. If it is exactly 2 years after she entered, it could be referring to the end of her 2-year period, though the fact that her conditional permanent residency status lasts for 2 years is determined by law and not dependent on what they write. If it is exactly 1 year after she entered, it could refer to the "expiration" of the I-551 that the immigrant visa turned into.


I want to post a second answer - now my wife as arrived.

First of all, the handwritten date on the visa stamp is what allowed her to board the plane in the first place. I think if it wasn't there and dated for a future date (September 2018), they would not have let her on.

On arrival, she went to the immigration line. The officer was also confused by the date. The computer system showed the visa as expired, so the direct answer is that the handwritten date was not relevant in terms of entry. Although I presume the confusion is caused made the officers more sympathetic.

Next she was sent to a private room to meet with another officer.

Stepping back for a second - I had called immigration office before her arrival - I spoke with the officer she was about to meet and let him know the story. This seemed to make the process easier for her.

She met the officer in the private room - he just asked a few questions - and advised in the future that we go to the embassy to get the proper documents before travelling. The meeting only took 5 minutes - this was on top of waiting in immigration.


I have had a similar issue. I arrived in the US last July 2018 and a red date stamp on the opposite page to my visa confirms that. The expiry date for my visa was December 15th 2018 and that was the last date by which I could make my single entry to the US and turn my CR1 visa into a temporary I 551.

I also have the hand-written date, which is exactly two years from the date I arrived, so I assume that to be the date my conditional I 551 expires. My problem has been that airline ground and check-in crew and even the Border Control Authorities seem to disagree on the meaning of these dates. I was told last week after just getting back into the US by the skin of my teeth (because the UK airlines thought my visa had expired full stop) that the hand written date was a mistake and I needed an ADIT stamp.

I don't even know what that is but I am afraid to leave again until I've had my Green Card. It's been a six month plus wait for that because I had an MIV (Modernized Immigrant Visa) and so entered the US without a sealed packet. This also seems to have caused ructions as many of the airport border control staff haven't heard of it.


My case was similar. Have you received your actual Green Card yet, Elayne?

I entered the U.S. in September 2018 with a CR1 Visa and also without a sealed packet. The airline didn't want to let me in at first either and I had problems at the port of entry here as well because no one seems to know about the electronic document submission now. I got in eventually. At a cruise ship port I got almost deported because they didn't realize that my visa is valid for 1 year for multiple entries. I got a letter a few weeks ago, that I need to schedule an appointment with my local USCIS office because of my "lost" visa packet, that I was supposed to submit when I entered the U.S. That is the reason they haven't send me my green card yet. I called USCIS several times in the last 7 months and no could tell me why it's taken so long. Now I need to travel back to Germany for 3 weeks, with only my visa and the stamp of my first entry. I'm expecting to have problems again. I called USCIS and they told me, my visa is valid and can be used as a temporary Green Card for one year after I first entered the U.S. with it. The entry date should be on the stamp next to your visa. They also advised me to call CBP (Border Protection) and inform them about my travel plans, with date and port of reentry, so they can make a note in their system. I hope this info is helpful for people who have to travel with their CR1 Visa because they didn't receive their green card yet. I'll post here again in 1 month, after reentering the U.S.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .