Is it Necessary to Renew Green Card?

The Green Card (Permanent Resident Card) is an evidence of an individual’s status as lawful permanent resident with the right to live and work in the United States. USCIS issues individuals a green card which is valid for a ten year period and it is required to renew your green card every ten years before the expiration date.

The Permanent Resident Card is the official card issued to individuals who wish to become legal permanent resident of the United States. The Permanent Resident Card is officially named Form I-551 and most commonly referred to as Green Card.

The Green Card is evidence of an individual’s lawful permanent resident status and it is maintained as long as the immigration laws are adhered to. The green card indicates the legal status of an individual within United States immigration laws.

The USCIS formerly known as INS issues individuals a green card, which is valid for a ten year period. Permanent residents with a valid green card are required to renew their green card every 10 years before the expiration date. USCIS has included the expiration date on the green card to protect against counterfeiting, tampering and to ensure that inadmissible individuals are brought to the attention of USCIS.

Reasons for Green Card Renewal

Permanent Residents whose green card has expired will not lose their legal status in the United States. However, Permanent Residents are required by the immigration law to have in their possession at all times their green card as evidence of their legal status within the United States. If individuals with expired green cards fail to renew their green cards they may experience difficulty when seeking employment, obtaining public benefits, traveling abroad and also with reentry into the United States. It is required by immigration law that an individual with an expired green card must not travel abroad unless the individual shows proof that a green card renewal application has been filed with USCIS before travel.

Even though individuals with an expired green card will not be penalized, individuals must ensure to renew their green card immediately to avoid difficulties. Per the immigration law by USCIS, if an individual’s Green Card has less than six months remaining on validity date, he or she must renew the green card using immigration Form I-90. Certain older green cards that were issued between 1979 and 1988 do not have an expiration date. Permanent Residents who retain the older version of this issued green card with no expiration date may replace their green card to new version which now includes expiration date. The immigration law requires these old green cards to be replaced to provide security in the immigration process. This change will allow the green cards to be more secure and it allows to electronically store applicants’ fingerprint and photographic information to provide better evidence of the identity of the green card holders.

To renew the green card, the applicants must file the green card renewal form I90, application to replace or renew Permanent Resident Card. All green card renewals must be filed with form I-90 application and be filled completely with correct information. All applicants are required to provide supporting evidence, current biographic information and photos. The current processing time for renewal of green card is approximately 3 to 4 months. Individuals who are outside United States with expired green cards must contact the nearest American Embassy or consulate.

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