If you are a Green Card holder, or on H1B, L-1, F1, H4 or any type of visa, you are required to carry documentation with you the minute you leave your home. This is a legal requirement for all Non-US Citizens. Failure to carry the documentation may cause the risk of being fined, imprisoned or both.
Section 264(e) of INA
requires every individual over the age of 18 to carry their “registration” documents with them at all times
. Specifically, section 264(e) reads:
e) Every alien, eighteen years of age and over, shall at all times carry with him and have in his personal possession any certificate of alien registration or alien registration receipt card issued to him pursuant to subsection (d) [where the government issues a “registration certificate” after each foreign national’s registration]. Any alien who fails to comply with the provisions of this subsection shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall upon conviction for each offense be fined not to exceed $100 or be imprisoned not more than thirty days, or both.
Most people are not aware of this requirement because it has rarely been an issue. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has generally not enforced the “at all times” language. Typically, officers ask for paperwork only in areas close to the Southern border (Mexican border).
Documents may include Form I-94 card, I-551 (green card), I-766 (EAD card). Since I-94 forms are now in electronic form you can visit the CBP I-94 website
and fill out the requested information and print their electronic Form I-94 on paper. Also carry a photo ID.
With the current administration’s anti-immigrant words and actions, it is advisable to be safe than sorry. Also, it could create problems while being considered for Green Card or Citizenship.
Please check with your lawyer if you have any questions.