Is it time to renew your expired green card? The green card renewal process occurs every ten years. Individuals should file to have their green card replaced by filing Form I-90 online.
If you fail to go through the Green Card Renewal process by not completing Form I-90, an expired Green Card does not remove the legal status of a Permanent Resident. An expired Green Card can affect the person's rights and obligations. Green Card holders over the age of 18 are required by law to carry a valid green card at all times. Failure to do so may result in a misdemeanor conviction with a $100 fine, up to 30 days in jail, or both, for each individual offense. Convictions for not carrying valid documentation of a person's immigration status are not frequent. But after the September 11 attacks, the government is paying more and more attention to these kinds of violations. Without this rule, it would be difficult for law enforcement officers to tell the difference between someone who has a legal right to be in the U.S. and someone who does not have that right. Even though a Green Card holder's legal status is permanent, it is important that he or she maintain a valid, unexpired Green Card by going through the Green Card Renewal process and filing the Form I-90 to prove his or her legal status. Renewing the Green Card also ensures that it contains all of the newest security features implemented by the government. Carrying an expired Green Card may make it difficult to prove one's legal status, to accept new employment or obtain benefits, and it may make it difficult to re-enter the U.S. after traveling abroad.
There are times when a Lawful Permanent Resident needs to request a Green Card Replacement before the current card expires. For example, if one loses their Green Card or has it stolen, a Green Card replacement card can be requested. Green Cards can also be replaced if there is a mistake on the card itself. For example, if a person has just received his or her first Green Card and the name has been misspelled, that person would want to immediately file for a green card replacement card (Form I90) to have the mistake corrected.
If the mistake was made because of government error (Example: The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services simply misspelled the person's name even though the name on the original form I90 application was correct), the applicant will not be required to pay the filing fee. If the mistake happened because incorrect information was put on the form I90 application, the applicant will be required to pay the filing fee. It is important then, to keep a copy of the original application to prove if the mistake was a government error. If an applicant can prove that the government made the mistake, he/she will not have to pay a fee to have the mistake corrected.