A Permanent Resident Card, also known as a Green Card (USCIS Form I-551), is proof of an Immigrant’s 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 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.
When do you need to replace your Green Card?
You are required to apply for a replacement Green Card if any information on your card needs to be changed, for example, if your name has legally changed due to marriage or divorce;
You are required to apply for a replacement Green Card if your card has been lost, stolen, or damaged;
You are required to replace your Green Card 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;
You are required to replace your Green Card if your card is about to expire. This does not apply to you if you are a conditional permanent resident whose green card is about to expire (see below);
You are required to apply for a replacement Green Card if your Permanent Resident Card was issued with incorrect information because of an administrative error made by the USCIS;
You are required to apply for a replacement Green Card if you never received the previous card that was issued to you by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS);
You may also choose to replace your Green Card if you have a previous version of the alien registration card which is no longer valid (e.g., USCIS Form AR-3, Form AR-103 or Form I-151);
How to Apply to Replace Your Green Card
If you are a permanent resident who needs to replace your green card or a conditional resident who needs to replace your two-year green card for any of the reasons listed above, you may apply for a replacement green card by filing a Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card.
If you are outside the U.S. and have lost your green card, contact the nearest U.S. consulate, USCIS office or port of entry before attempting to file a Form I-90. If your Form I-90 application is approved, you will be mailed a replacement green card with a 10-year expiration date from the date it is issued.
But DO NOT use Form I-90 if you are a conditional resident and your status is about to expire. 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 by filing Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence.