You Got the Visa !

Activation Green Card

At Port of Entry you must present the sealed Visa Packet to a Customs and Border Protection Officer. The Officer will open the envelope and inspect the contents. He/she will ask a few questions, fingerprint you, take your picture, and ask for your signature.
If you immigrate with family members each in turn will be questioned, fingerprinted, photographed, and asked for his/her signature.
Some immigrants are asked for the X-ray DVD or picture.

The Officer then puts the I-551 Stamp in your passport. This stamp serves as a temporary Green Card inside the U.S. until you have your real Green Card.
The I-551 Stamp is valid for one year but only inside of the U.S.

Nota Bene. Always remember that a CBP Officer has the last word whether someone will be allowed into the U.S. – or not !

The Primary Visa Holder must enter before or at the same time as his/her family members with Derivative Visas. Family can also follow later on – as long as their arrival is within the 6 months the Immigrant Visa is valid.

The exception to this rule is an Applicant who claimed eligibility based on eligibility of his or her spouse (Alternate Chargeability). In that case both spouses must enter the U.S. at the same time (together).

You do not need to stay in the U.S. after you activate your visa. You can travel back to your home country as long as you return to the U.S. within 6 months.

If you stayed long enough to have received your real Green Card this does not apply. Then you must adhere to the rules for Permanent Residents.

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