The Permanent Resident Card, popularly known as the Green Card, is a misnomer of sorts because although it calls itself permanent, you really need to renew it and keep it up-to-date. Although some green cards, especially the old and outdated ones, do not come with an expiration date, for most it is 10 years. In certain cases, a green card may even have a validity of just two years. This happens when a person is granted the status of a conditional permanent residence. As a green card holder, it is your duty to keep the document updated and renew it periodically through the I-90 green card renewal process.
Why do You Need to Renew Your Green Card?
Your green card is your legal document that allows you to stay and work in the US. Without a valid green card you will not only find it difficult to stay in the country and get a job, but also to travel within and outside the US. When do You Need to Renew Your Permanent Resident Card?
You must keep in mind the following three scenarios when you are considering a green card renewal:
a) For green cards with a 10-year validity: If the permanent resident card issued to you is valid for 10 years and it has expired or is about to expire in the next six months, you must apply for a renewal via Form I-90.
b) For 2-year valid green cards: If you are a conditional permanent resident with a green card that’s valid for just two years, you must file a petition 90 days before your card expires to remove the conditions of your residence. After the approval of your petition, you will receive a new permanent resident card that will be valid for 10 years. Failure to file the petition at the right time may cost you your permanent resident status.
c) Green card without any expiration date: A green card without any expiration date is in all probability outdated. You must renew such a card.
When do You Need to Replace Your Permanent Resident Card?
If you need to change any information on your green card, you can replace the card by applying through Form I-90. You may also need to replace your permanent resident card in case it is lost, stolen, or damaged. Additionally, if you received your permanent resident status before you turned 14, you will need to replace your green card when you become 14 years old.
What Happens After Filing Form I-90?
After you file your Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card, it goes through the following processes before you get your renewed green card:
1. If you file the Form I-90 properly, the USCIS will respond to your application by sending you a receipt letter, formally known as Form I-797C, Notice of Action, to confirm that they have received your application. You must save it because it is proof that the process of renewing or replacing your green card has been initiated. This letter also contains a 10-digit number using which you can check the status of your application.
2. Next, you will get an appointment notice that will include the date, time, and location of your biometrics appointment.
3. In the biometrics appointment, the USCIS will take your fingerprints, signature, photograph, and a photo identification document.
After the biometrics appointment, the USCIS will process your application for renewal or replacement of green car. If approved, your new green card will be mailed to you. You will also get a letter if your application is denied, explaining the reasons behind the rejection. After filing Form I-90 for green card renewal, you might need to wait for around six months to get your new permanent resident card. The USCIS may also request you for some additional information or schedule another interview.