On Friday, April 27, 2018, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) announced that as of April 30th it will begin phasing in use of the U.S. Postal Service’s (“USPS”) Signature Confirmation Restricted Delivery Service for certain benefit-conferring immigration documents. The affected documents include permanent resident cards (e.g. “green cards”), employment authorization cards (“EAD”) and travel documents.

Such important immigration documents frequently do not reach their intended recipients when sent via first class USPS mail, which does not provide a tracking number for recourse. This change in delivery method by USCIS is intended to improve the security, integrity and efficiency of such document delivery. However, the new signature requirement may prove less convenient for some recipients who work or go to school full-time and have no one at home to receive the delivery on their behalf.

This new delivery method will first be applied to immigration documents that need to be re-mailed because they were returned to USCIS as non-deliverable. Also, recipients who have changed mailing addresses during the course of the application process are more likely to have their documents sent via the new delivery method. But USCIS will eventually expand the use of this more secure delivery method to all such important immigration documents.

As part of the new delivery method, recipients must present identification to sign for their documents upon delivery. They also have the option to designate an agent to sign on their behalf by completing USPS’s PS Form 3801, Standing Delivery Order (PDF) or PS Form 3801-A, Agreement by a Hotel, Apartment House, or the Like (PDF). Recipients also may elect 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.” Recipients may sign up for USPS’s Informed Delivery to receive delivery status notifications.

Information on how to track delivery of such important immigration documents is available on the USCIS website.