In order to live and work in the U.S. on a permanent basis, foreign-born nationals must request a permanent resident card (green card or Form I-551) a document that occasionally requires renewal. Green cards require renewal every 10 years.
In short, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) accepts renewal applications for those currently holding expired 10-year green cards as well as for those with 10-year green cards expiring within 6 months. Permanent residents in commuter status are also required to apply for replacement or renewal of existing Permanent Resident Cards.
Immigrants holding conditional green cards– those gaining permanent residency status either through marriage to a U.S. citizen or through business investment– don’t renew current green cards. Instead, conditional green card holders must apply to remove the conditions of their green card within the 90 days before their 2-year card expires.
How to Renew Green Card
Immigrants seeking green card renewal file Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card with USCIS.
Immigrants outside of the U.S. who have green cards that are due to expire within 6 months but will return within 1 year of departure from the U.S., but before the card expires file the Form I-90 application with USCIS on return to the U.S.
Green card holders who will be or are outside of the U.S. when their card expires and who haven’t filed an application for renewal before their departure must contact the nearest U.S. Consulate, USCIS office, or U.S. port of entry before attempting to file Form I-90 for a renewal green card.
Green Card Expiration Date
Many old versions of green cards carry no expiration date, and USCIS no longer considers most of these cards as valid. USCIS advises immigrants holding these old cards to apply for renewal to receive an updated version of the green card.
Current green cards remain valid for 10 years. With these modern green cards, USCIS accepts renewal applications for cards already expired or cards with an expiration date due in the next 6 months. USCIS also directs green card holders to apply to replace their green cards to reflect new or updated information. Or to replace a lost, stolen or damaged card. In addition, USCIS requires immigrants who gain legal permanent residency before the age of 14 to replace their green card once they reach the age of 14.
Notably, conditional permanent resident cards remain valid for only 2 years. Conditional permanent resident card holders file a petition—Form I-751 for those holding green cards through marriage or Form I-829 for those holding green cards through entrepreneurial investment— to remove conditions within 90 days of expiration. Once USCIS approves the petition for removal of conditions, the agency issues a new green card that’s valid for 10 years.
Green Card Renewal Form I-90
Immigrants renewing green cards apply with Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card. USCIS accepts applications both through the mail and online. In either case, USCIS requires all applications to be filled out completely and legibly and to include the applicant’s signature. USCIS considers applications as properly filed only when the agency formally accepts the application for initial processing. On acceptance, the agency establishes the applicant’s basis for eligibility.
After initial review of an applicant’s Form I-90 submission, USCIS might request more information for evidence in support of the application. This can include the original documents of any copies submitted with the application. Once reviewed, USCIS returns the original document.
In addition, applicants will be required to attend a biometrics appointment. Biometrics appointments are when an applicant goes to an Application Support Center (ASC) to provide fingerprints, photos, and their signature. This is done to verify the identity of the applicant and for an updated background or security check.
In deciding, USCIS agents establish documentation of eligibility. The agency provides notification of their decision in writing and electronic notice.
Renew Green Card Online
For those with internet access filing Form I-90 online, USCIS allows for the convenience of electronic filing. Just as with the paper submissions, online submissions must include complete information in order to gain consideration. USCIS accepts electronic signatures with online applications.
Green Card Renew Timeframes
Because processing times for green card renewals vary according to the caseload of each USCIS office, it’s best to apply as early as possible– 6 months from the expiration date of the current green card. Filling out the form accurately and completely also expedites the renewal process.
Once filed, applicants typically receive Form I-797C, Notice of Action within 3 weeks. The notice will communicate whether the agency is processing the renewal application or if a filing error forces the agency to reject the application. USCIS might also send a Request for Evidence notice when additional information is needed.
USCIS provides application tracking through My Case Status. Checking application status requires an e-filed receipt number and is available 72 hours after filing.
Green Card Renew Fees
USCIS requires green card renewal applicants to include a filing fee of $540 with their application submission. In some cases, applicants may not be required to pay the biometrics fee of $85 and will then only pay the filing fee of $455. Online applicants include online payment. Paper-based applicants pay the fee with a money order, personal check, cashier’s check or with a credit card using Form G-1450, Authorization for Credit Card Transactions.