Green Card or Form I-551 Permanent Resident Card was earlier known as Alien Registration Receipt Card. A Green Card is a verification document showing the immigrant’s permanent resident status in the United States of America. People with the permanent resident status have certain privileges. A Green Card holder has to maintain a permanent residence status in the country or he/she will face removal proceedings if certain criteria are not met.
Green Card is generally valid for 10 years and it is very important to renew it before it expires. You must renew your Green Card when you have 6 months or less of validity left. If you have been conferred a Green Card between 1979 and 1988, your card won’t have an expiry date and you don’t have to renew it. But still it is requested to renew such cards now as USCIS wants to have all records updated.
In case, you have received your Green Card through marriage to any citizen or permanent resident of United States, then it is known as Conditional Green Card and it is valid for two years. This card cannot be renewed, but 90 days prior to the expiry of this card, you need to petition to remove the conditions.
A Green Card renewal should be done before its expiry, but even if your card has already expired, you can still go ahead and file for a renewal.
Applying for Green Card Renewal
If you are a Green Card holder whose 10-year term has expired or is going to expire in the next 6 months, then you must start with your Green Card renewal process either by filing Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card, online or fill From I-90 in paper and send it via mail.
If you are staying outside the country and your Green Card validity is going to expire in the next 6 months, you must apply for Green Card renewal as soon as you return US. But if you are outside and your card expires before you return, in that case, you must contact the nearest US Consulate, US port of entry or USCIS office before you fill in Form I-90 for Green Card renewal.
When should you renew your Green Card?
You must renew your Green Card if it has expired or about to expire in the next 6 months. This information is not for conditional residents, who have to file Form I-751 to get their conditions removed.
Documents required for Green Card renewal
When you are applying for Green Card renewal, you must see that the application is accompanied by the following documents:
Photocopies of back and front pages of the expired or expiring Green Card
A photo identity document like a valid passport or a state driver’s license.
The renewal process
Here are few things you must know before applying for Green Card renewal:
Form I-90 must be filled up in order to renew the Green Card.
The completed application form should be sent to USCIS along with required documents and fees.
You may file the I-90 electronically. (Please note that not everyone is eligible to e-file their application.)
A filing fee of $365 and a biometric fee of $85 has to be sent in the form of a money order or check.
The processing time for Green Card renewal applications is approximately 3 months.
Traveling During the Renewal Process
If you need to travel during the renewal process, you must get your passport stamped with Form I-551 at any local INS office. To get your passport stamped, you need to meet with the local USCIS office with your passport and the Application Receipt Notice, which is proof that you have filed a Green Card renewal application.
This article is all about Green Card renewal and deals about all aspects of it like how to apply for a renewal, all information regarding documents needed as well as every other possible details to help those who want to renew their GreenCard.