Memorandum: Waiver of Photograph for I-90, Applicants Seeking a Replacement or Renewal Form I-551   [open pdf - 90KB]

"Recently, some applicants filing Form I-90, Application to Create Permanent Resident Card, for replacement or renewal Form I-551, Permanent Resident Card, have sought a waiver from the requirement at 8 CFR § 264.5(e)(1)(i) that all I-90 applicants provide photographs accompanying their application. These applicants have sought such a waiver based on religious grounds, stating that their faith prohibited them from being photographed. The regulations, at 8 C.F.R. § 264.5(e)(iii) for replacement of permanent resident cards provide that the photograph requirement may be waived only 'in cases of confinement due to advanced age or physical infirmity.' However, the Alien Documentation, Identification and Telecommunication System (ADIT) manual states that 'religious/ethnic reasons' as well as 'physical disfigurement' may be acceptable reasons to waive the photograph requirement. Based on this statement in the ADIT manual, the Immigration and Naturalization Service (Service) has on occasion granted photograph waiver requests on religious grounds, in addition to the grounds specifically provided by regulation. However, in light of national security concerns arising from the events of September 11, 2001, and because Form I-551 is evidence of legal status to enter and remain in the United States, the potential for misuse were it issued without a photograph is too great to allow discretionary waivers beyond what is specifically provided by the regulations at 8 C.F.R. § 264.5(e)(3)(iii)."

Report Number:
HQEXM 70/28
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
USCG Sector Mobile Digital Area Contingency Plan: http://ocean.floridamarine.org/acp/mobacp/
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