What is a “Class of Admission”?

Updated on April 4, 2024

At a Glance

  • The Class of Admission indicates the category under which a person was admitted into the United States as a permanent or conditional permanent resident.
  • It is specified on the green card, either on the front or back, represented by a specific code.
  • Other documents like the initial visa, I-485 approval notice, and I-94 record also contain this information for nonimmigrants.
  • When renewing or replacing a green card, the Class of Admission is required on Form I-90 during the application process.

If you are applying for your green card renewal or you’ve lost your green card, and you need a new one, you’ve probably faced the Form I-90. You also probably noticed the Form I-90 asks for your Class of Admission. Chances are you’re not sure exactly what your Class of Admission is since it isn’t listed as such on your existing green card or paperwork.

Don’t worry. We’ll help you out. Take a look below to understand what your Class of Admission is and where you can find yours. 

What is a “Class of Admission”?

In short, your Class of Admission describes the category under which you were admitted into the U.S. as a permanent resident or conditional permanent resident.

The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) has several broad classes of admissions under which foreign nationals can gain lawful permanent residence (LPR) status. The largest of these categories is focused on admitting foreign nationals to reunite with their families. Other categories include allowing immigrants to enter the U.S. for humanitarian or economic reasons or admitting immigrants from countries that have low levels of immigration into the U.S.

Where is my Class of Admission on My Green Card?

Your Class of Admission appears on the front of your green card (if you have a newer green card) under “category”. The class of admission code is usually one or two letters with a number (for example, RE8, NC7, etc.).

The alphabetical letters in your Class of Admission code represent the latest revision of the various classes. The numerical figure represents order and relationship within the class.

If you have an older green card, your Class of Admission may appear on the back.

Other Places to Locate Your Class of Admission

If you’ve lost your green card, don’t worry. You will be able to find your Class of Admission on other documents as well. Your Class of Admission would be printed on your initial visa if you entered the U.S. on an immigrant visa. Here your Class of Admission will appear under “IV Category”.

Take note, however, if you were initially admitted to the U.S. as a conditional resident, your Class of Admission code may have changed. Conditional residents’ codes begin with a “C”. For example, if you are a spouse of a U.S. citizen, your code may have been “CR1” or “CR6”. If your conditions on residence have been removed, this code would have been updated. If this is the case, it’s best to look for your Class of Admission elsewhere.

If you adjusted your status to be a permanent resident while you were already in the U.S., your Class of Admission would also appear on your I-485 approval notice. In this case, it is again necessary to use the correct code. Don’t confuse your initial nonimmigrant status (such as F-1, B-1, EB-1 or H-1B) with the immigrant category under which you became a permanent resident.

Where Can I get my I-94 Record

The I-94 record is your “Arrival-Departure Record Card”. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) use this form to keep track of people who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents’ arrival and departure to or from the U.S. The I-94 record is, therefore, only relevant if you enter as a nonimmigrant. Since you aren’t a permanent resident and you’re not allowed to stay in the U.S. indefinitely, your I-94 shows how long you are allowed to remain in the U.S. and when you have to leave. Most importantly, it is also proof that you are in the country legally.

When you enter the U.S., the Customers Border Protection will examine your passport and visa and then either issue you with a passport admission stamp or a small white card, which is your physical I-94 record. If you’ve arrived by crossing a land border, you will receive the I-94 card. If you entered by air or sea, you will be issued with a passport admission stamp. If you’ve only received a passport admissions stamp, you can still get an electronic copy of your I-94 record online. It’s essential to print your I-94 record immediately once you’ve arrived in the U.S. if you didn’t receive the physical card.

It’s quite easy to get a copy of your I-94 record. All you have to do is go to the Customs and Border Patrol website and request your I-94 record. Once you’ve submitted your request, you will receive a copy of your most recent I-94. Your I-94 document also lists your Class of Admission.

Class of Admission and Green Card Renewal

Your Class of Admission will be especially crucial if you are applying to renew or replace your green card. To renew your green card, you will need to fill in the Form I-90. At the top left corner of your Form I-90, you have to fill in your Class of Admission. Here the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is looking for your 3-character Class of Admission Code.

The other steps in your green card renewal are also simple. You can renew your green card online or via mail.

To renew your green card online, you can follow these easy steps:

  1. Create your USCIS online account. You can do that here.
  2. Complete your Form I-90 (with your Class of Admissions code)
  3. Upload all the required documents and evidence. This will include a copy of your expired (or soon-to-expire) green card.
  4. Review your application and sign the paperwork digitally.
  5. Pay the filing fees (if required).
  6. Submit your application.
  7. Wait for your new green card.

For other useful tips on how to complete your Form I-90, take a look here.

Read More


Your Class of Admission will probably only be relevant once or twice in your life. But when it becomes important, it’s crucial to know what your Class of Admission is and where to find it. Fortunately, it’s quite straightforward, just follow the guidelines we’ve listed above. Now you only have to plan and focus on the rest of your green card renewal steps. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1. What Is Class of Admission in Immigration?

The “Class of Admission” in immigration refers to the specific visa category or classification under which an individual was granted entry or lawful status in the United States. It is often indicated on immigration documents and forms.

2. Where Can I Find My Class of Admission?

You can find your “Class of Admission” on various immigration documents, including your Arrival-Departure Record (Form I-94), Certificate of Citizenship (Form N-560 or N-561), Certificate of Naturalization (Form N-550 or N-570), or your immigrant visa stamp in your passport.

3. Why Is Class of Admission Important?

The “Class of Admission” is essential because it determines the legal status, rights, and privileges of an individual in the United States. It is used for various immigration-related purposes, including eligibility for benefits, employment authorization, and visa extensions.

4. Can I Change My Class of Admission?

In some cases, individuals may be eligible to change their class of admission through a legal process, such as adjusting from one nonimmigrant visa status to another or applying for lawful permanent residency (a green card). However, changing class of admission may have specific requirements and eligibility criteria.

5. How Do I Update My Class of Admission?

To update your class of admission or change your immigration status, you should consult with an immigration attorney or follow the appropriate legal process outlined by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The process may involve filing specific forms and meeting certain eligibility criteria.

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Frank Gogol

I’m a firm believer that information is the key to financial freedom. On the Stilt Blog, I write about the complex topics — like finance, immigration, and technology — to help immigrants make the most of their lives in the U.S. Our content and brand have been featured in Forbes, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, and more.

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