I came to United States 1 month ago as a F-25. Right now I'm in Puerto Rico but my boss wants me to visit him in Boston to go shopping gadget, and then my uncle wants me to visit him in Minneapolis, the thing here is that my green card have not been sent yet, and I don't have it, but I do have a stamp in the passport ( I-555 if I remember ) that is valid through 1 year, while the green card is being processed.

Won't I have any issues traveling to another state while the GC is being processed?

By the way, I am 17 years old.

  • 1
    @blackbird57 no, it's actually about travel on the US as a newly-immigrated permanent resident who has not yet received his green card. I suppose it's on topic for both Travel and Expatriates.
    – phoog
    Commented Jan 7, 2016 at 15:52
  • It's an I-551 stamp (and confusingly, the green card itself is also I-551). Commented Jan 7, 2016 at 17:17
  • @MichaelHampton: It's not confusing, because they are exactly the same type of thing -- any I-551 can be used for all the same purposes as the plastic green card I-551. Also, what the OP has is probably not the "I-551 stamp"; rather, US immigrant visas have a line on them that says "upon endorsement serves as temporary I-551 evidencing permanent residence for 1 year". So upon entry with the immigrant visa (where it is "endorsed"), it automatically turns into an I-551 without needing to get a separate "stamp".
    – user102008
    Commented Jan 7, 2016 at 19:35
  • @user102008 This is all true. You get the immigrant visa if you gain permanent residence while outside the US (e.g. the diversity visa lottery). The actual "endorsement" is the admittance stamp. And the stamp I linked is what you get if you adjust status to permanent resident while inside the US (e.g. by filing form I-485). Commented Jan 8, 2016 at 7:33

2 Answers 2


No, you will have no issues. There are no passport checks.

If you fly, you will pass through an ID check, where you can use your passport. This check is conducted by the TSA, which does not enforce immigration law.

There are stories on the internet, mostly from 8 or 9 years ago, of TSA officers referring aliens to immigration authorities for a status check. If this happens to you, there's nothing to worry about since you are legally in the country, so you will be fine.

If my experience is any guide, this is very unlikely. I've been traveling domestically with a foreign passport for a couple of years now without anyone ever questioning my immigration status.

As indicated in a comment, my experience may not be a sufficient guide, since passengers from Puerto Rico are apparently sometimes checked for immigration status. I've never been to Puerto Rico. To reiterate, however, with your valid immigration documents, you have nothing to worry about.

  • There are random passport checks when departing Puerto Rico, to catch out illegal immigrants from neighboring islands trying to get to the mainland US. But this is not a problem for our traveler, who can just show his I-551 stamp and be waved through. Commented Jan 7, 2016 at 17:15
  • @MichaelHampton thanks for that; I've updated the answer.
    – phoog
    Commented Jan 7, 2016 at 17:18

phoog is right that you are not considered to be entering the US between Puerto Rico and the US, even though there might be immigration checks where you just have to prove that you're legal.

However, I want to point out that even if you were leaving the US and re-entering the US, you can do that freely without any worries. The moment you entered the US with an immigrant visa, you became a US permanent resident. The immigrant visa you used to enter the US automatically turned into an I-551 (proof of permanent residency) valid for one year from the date of entry. A plastic "green card" is also just an I-551. You don't need to wait for the plastic card I-551, because you already have in your hand another I-551. All types of I-551 are equally valid for travel, work, and other purposes.

You must log in to answer this question.

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