Beginning April 30, 2018, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) started phasing in the use of the U.S. Postal Service’s (USPS) Signature Confirmation Restricted Delivery service to mail permanent residency documents and other secure documents to recipients. This USPS process is expected to increase the security and efficiency of document delivery and provide applicants with options for better tracking and more accurate information concerning the delivery of their important documents.

The first stage of the phase in will affect documents that need to be re-mailed after being returned to USCIS as non-deliverable, including permanent resident cards (also referred to as green cards), employment authorization documents (EADs), and travel booklets (or reentry permits). More than likely, applicants who have changed their mailing addresses during the application process will be the first to have their secure documents resent using this new delivery method. (Applicants can update their addresses on the USCIS website.)

The USPS Signature Confirmation Restricted Delivery method will require applicants to present identification to sign for their documents upon delivery. Applicants will have the option of designating an agent to sign on their behalf, but must complete the USPS PS Form 3801, Standing Delivery Order, or PS Form 3801-A, Agreement by a Hotel, Apartment House or the Like, to designate an agent. Another option will be to arrange for pickup at a post office at a convenient date and time by going to the USPS website and selecting “hold for pickup.” Applicants can also “sign up for USPS Informed Delivery to receive delivery status notifications.” Tracking of delivery information is also available on the USCIS website.

Use of this new delivery service by USCIS will be welcome news to many applicants given the challenges in recent years with lost, missing, and returned documents.