A green card, also known as a permanent resident card is proof of having legal permanent resident status in the United States. It offers its holder the ability to live and work freely in the United States. However, these green cards do expire, and it is important to know how to renew your green card prior to its expiration. Renewing your green card as timely as possible will help you maintain your lawful permanent resident status in the country.
In this blog post, we will provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to renew your green card.
Meanwhile, there are many reasons to renew your green card apart from its expiration. You can renew your green card if you have a permanent residence card that has no expiration date written on it. You can also renew your green card if your card was stolen, damaged, or lost, or there are mistakes on your green card, such as in your name, date of birth, or other information due to some error made by the USCIS. Renewal can also take place if you change your name or other biographic information. These are the common reasons why you might need to renew your green card apart from it approaching its expiry.
Step-By-Step Guide on How to Renew Your Green Card
Below is a Step-By-Step Guide you can follow to Renew Your Green Card:
Step 1: Complete the Green Card Renewal Form (Form I-90)
The first step in renewing your green card is filing the Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card Form, Form I-90. You can complete the form in either of two ways: by mail or online. If you send your application through mail, the USCIS will still open an online account for you. The online account created for you will be used in receiving any notifications the USCIS sends to you and also information about your application status. They may also send you important information through the mail as well.
If you are going to fill out the form online, you should follow the laid-out instructions carefully and choose the appropriate reason for your renewal application. The USCIS green card renewal portal has about 17 reasons to renew your green card listed, so you should choose the correct one. The option your check will determine what kinds of documents will be requested from you.
Step 2: Pay the Filing Fee
When filing the Form I-90, you will be required to pay the filing fee. The amount is not a fixed one, so you can check the USCIS website for the most current information. You can pay the fee through a Visa, Master, Discover or American Express Card. If you however, don’t want to pay online, you can send your payment through order or check. Once the USCIS receives your payment, they will issue you a receipt as proof of payment.
Step 3: Gather and Submit Required Documents
After filing your Form I-90, you will need to submit it along with other supporting documents. The type of documents you will submit vary based on the reason why you are applying for a renewal. If you are just renewing your green card because it is close to expiration or it has already expired, you only need to provide a copy of your current Green card along with Form I-90.
If you are however, applying for renewal/replacement of your lost, stolen, or damaged green card, you will need to attach to the Form I-90 a copy of the lost or damaged card and a copy of a valid government-issued ID card such as a passport, military ID or a driver’s license.
If you are applying for renewal because of a mistake made by the USCIS, you need the original card and a copy of your birth or marriage certificate. Lastly, if you are applying because you changed your personal information, you only need a court order backing the change and a copy of your new birth or marriage certificate.
However, if you are applying for renewal because of other reasons, you can check the Form I-90 instructions for more details.
Step 4: Submit Your Application
Once you have completed Form I-90 and have prepared all the necessary documents, and paid the filing fees, you can proceed to submit your application. If you applied for renewal online, you will receive an electronic confirmation page stating the success of your application. If you applied through the paper application on the other hand, you will be mailed a receipt by the USCIS.
Step 5: Attend Biometrics Appointment
After submitting your application, USCIS will schedule an appointment for your biometrics to be taken. Your fingerprints, photograph, and signature will be taken during the appointment to conduct a background check on you.
Step 6: Wait for Approval
After the biometrics appointment, you will need to wait for the USCIS to process your application. The processing time usually varies for various reasons. If the USCIS needs any extra information from you, they will send it by mail to request further evidence or schedule another interview.
Once your application has been approved, you will receive your new Green Card via mail. It is essential to carefully check the new card to ensure accuracy. If there are any errors on the card, you can report them immediately.
Renewing your green card is a necessary step in order to maintain your legal permanent resident status in the United States. It is however important to ensure that you are familiar with the process by learning how to renew your green card before your current one expires or before any harm befalls it. You can apply for renewal or replacement for several reasons, but for whatever reason it is, you should make sure to apply for renewal or replacement as early as possible. Remember to stay updated with USCIS rules and regulations as they may change over time. If you encounter any problem in the course o your application, don’t hesitate to contact an immigration lawyer or contact the USCIS directly and lodge your complaints.