Generally speaking, your green card should be good for ten years. If you want to maintain your residency status in the United States, you need to stay on top of renewing your green card on time. There is a very specific process for follow and you want to ensure you perform every step properly in order to avoid any further delays in receiving your renewed Green Card.
Reasons to Renew
There are a number of reasons for you to renew your Green Card aside from the most obvious one, which is that it is set to expire. Other reasons to renew it include the following:
- It has been lost, damaged, or stolen
- It was issued before you turned 14 and did not expire before you turn 16
- You have legally changed some of the information, such as your name
- There are errors in your personal information
- It will expire in the next 6 months
- You are a commuter, or live in Mexico or Canada but work in the United States
Once you know you need to renew, you still need to know how to renew a Green Card.
The I-90 Process and Timeline
There are many steps to take in applying for and receiving your renewed Green Card, as outlined below. If your residency in the United States is permanent, and your Green Card is either expired or set to expire within the next 6 months, you need to have it renewed. You have two options for renewal.
Both options for how to renew a Green Card require you to fill out the I-90 Form, which is the Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card. You can either file it online or through the mail. You do not want to fill out this form if you have only a 2- year Green Card, which is for conditional permanent residents.
If you file your Application to Permanent Resident Card accurately and properly, you will receive a letter from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, or USCIS, that lets you know it has been received. That letter is called a Notice of Action and is Form I-797C. You should expect to receive it about 1 to 3 weeks after you have filed the I-90. You want to make sure you keep this letter, as it includes a 10-digit code that serves as your application receipt. That number will let you check your application status.
If you did not file the I-90 correctly, you will also receive a letter but this one will either let you know your application has been rejected or will include a Request for Evidence. That request will be that you send in additional information. There are approximately 9% of all I-90 applications that are rejected altogether. In addition, there are thousands of others that are denied.
You want to make sure that you fill out your I-90 properly the first time. Getting a Notice of Action that either asks for more information or rejects your application will significantly delay your renewal attempt. Pay close attention to your I-90 submission and make sure that you include all necessary documents on the first attempt.
Check Your Status
The number on your receipt will allow you to check the status of your Green Card application. To do so, you can go to the USCIS website or you can call them at 1-800-375-5283. You want to make sure you have that receipt number available when you call.
Next, you will receive a notice that outlines your biometrics appointment time, date and location. In general, you should expect to go to the closest USCIS Application Support Center but the letter will let you know where you need to go. You will need to be fingerprinted and will undergo a criminal background check. You should receive this notice within 4 to 6 weeks following the filing of your I-90.
Your actual biometrics appointment should be rather quick, with most of them lasting only around 30 minutes. You will have your photograph and fingerprints taken and you will need to submit your signature. That notice you received prior to the appointment will outline what you need to bring with you. In general, you will need to bring a photo ID just to get into the building.
Attain your Green Card
Once you have completed the biometrics appointment, your application will be processed and you will receive your renewed Green Card, if you have been approved. You should expect to receive it in the mail, but only if you are living in the United States, as Green Cards cannot be mailed outside of the U.S. If you are denied, an explanation letter will be mailed to you. The whole process takes about 8 to 10 months from the time you properly filed your I-90 form to when you receive your renewed Green Card.
Renewing Outside of the United States
If you are outside of the United States when your Green Card expires and you have not already filed for your renewal, you will need to contact the U.S. consulate, U.S. Port of Entry or USCIS office closest to your location for assistance. You cannot file the I-90 from abroad.
Assistance in Renewing
The process for renewing your Green Card can seem overwhelming. There are many steps to take and you want to ensure that you do them all correctly and on time. With an already length process, you do not want to do anything incorrectly and delay the process even longer. Pride Immigration with how to renew a Green Card. You can reach out for more information or for assistance in renewing your Green Card.
Beeraj Patel, Esq.
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