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Permanent Resident Cards (Green Cards) FAQ

  1. How do I renew or replace my Permanent Resident Card?
  2. When does my time as a Permanent Resident begin?
  3. When do I need to renew my Permanent Resident Card?
  4. When do I need to replace my Permanent Resident Card?
  5. What application do I file to replace or renew my Permanent Resident Card?
  6. How do I remove conditions on my 2-year conditional Permanent Resident Card?
  7. If my Permanent Resident Card expires while I am applying for naturalization, do I still need to apply for a new card?

1.How do I renew or replace my Permanent Resident Card?

A Permanent Resident Card (USCIS Form I-551) is proof of your permanent resident status in the United States. It also serves as a valid identification document and proof that you are eligible to live and work in the United States. Although some Permanent Resident Cards, commonly known as "Green Cards", contain no expiration date, most are valid for 10 years. If you have been granted conditional permanent resident status, the card is valid for 2 years.

It is important to keep your card up-to-date. Without a valid card, it may be difficult for you to prove that you are a permanent resident, and this could also affect your ability to travel or to prove your eligibility to work in the United States

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2. When does my time as a Permanent Resident begin?

Your time as a Permanent Resident begins on the date you were granted permanent resident status. This date is on your Permanent Resident Card (formerly known as an Alien Registration Card or "Green Card"). The sample cards on this page show where you can find important information such as the date your Permanent Residence began.

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NOTE: The "A-number" is the Alien Registration Number

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3. When do I need to renew my Permanent Resident Card?

You should renew your Permanent Resident Card if you were issued a card valid for 10 years that has either expired or will expire within the next 6 months.

If your Permanent Resident Card is valid for only 2 years, you are a conditional resident. You will need to file a petition to remove the conditions of your residence before the card expires. You may file this petition up to 6 months before the card expires. If your petition is approved, you will be sent a new Permanent Resident Card valid for 10 years. You do not need to file Form I-90. This is discussed below.

If your card does not have any expiration date on the front, then you have a very old version. Most old versions are no longer valid. Even if your card does not have an expiration date on it, USCIS recommends you apply to renew it.

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4. When do I need to replace my Permanent Resident Card?

Apply to replace your Permanent Resident Card if any information on your card needs to be changed, or if your card has been lost, stolen, or damaged.

Also, if you became a permanent resident before you turned 14 years old, you are required to replace your card when you become 14 years old.

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5. What application do I file to replace or renew my Permanent Resident Card?

To apply to renew or replace your card, use Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card.

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6. How do I remove conditions on my 2-year conditional Permanent Resident Card?

Do not use Form I-90 if you are a conditional resident and your status is expiring. If you are a permanent resident who was granted conditional permanent resident status, you are required to file a petition to remove those conditions within 90 days of your card expiring.

If your conditional status was based on a marriage, file Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence.

If your conditional status was based on being an investor or entrepreneur, file Form I-829, Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions on Permanent Resident Status.

If you do not file the petition to remove the conditions before your card expires, you may lose your permanent resident status.

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7. If my Permanent Resident Card expires while I am applying for naturalization, do I still need to apply for a new card?

If you apply for naturalization 6 months or more before the expiration date on your Permanent Resident Card (formerly known as an Alien Registration Card or "Green Card"), you do not have to apply for a new card. However, you may apply for a renewal card if you wish by using an "Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card" (Form I-90) and paying the appropriate USCIS fee.

If you apply for naturalization less than 6 months before the expiration date on your Permanent Resident Card, or don't apply for naturalization until your card has already expired, you must renew your card.

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