How to renew a US green card

When immigrants to the U.S. are granted permanent citizenship, they become green card holders. Individuals who are granted green cards are permitted to live and work in the U.S. permanently. However, you are required to renew your green card every 10 years.

Immigrants can be issued a green card through family, a job, or refugee or asylee status. There are a number of different types of green cards that can be issued to immigrants, as well as steps that must be followed if you want to have your green card application renewed.

How to renew your US green card

There are a number of steps to take if your 10-year green card has expired or will expire within six months.

If you won’t be in the U.S. when your card expires but will return within one year, then you should file for a new one when you return to the U.S. If you didn’t apply for a renewal card before you left, then you’ll want to talk with the nearest U.S. Consulate, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office or U.S. port of entry.

You can check the expiration date on your card to know when it’s going to expire. Keep in mind that your I-90 form cannot be filed more than six months in advance of your green card’s expiration date, but if it has already expired then you’ll want to file a form immediately. Green cards issued before 1979 did not have an expiration date on them. If this is the case for you, then you are encouraged to apply for a replacement card using the I-90 form.

Follow these steps if you want to renew your green card:

  • File your paperwork at least six months before it expires
  • Fill in out your I-90 form issued by USCIS (this can be done electronically or by mail)
  • Send in your fee ($365 to file the I-90 plus $85 for fingerprinting, those who cannot afford the payment may be granted a waiver)

Once you’ve sent in your application, follow these steps:

  • Wait for a notification from USCIS stating that they received your paperwork
  • Attend the appointment where you’ll provide your fingerprint and have your photo taken
  • Review the checklist sent by the U.S. Immigration Service and be prepared to attend an in-person interview

Need to replace your green card? You’ll have to use the I-90 form to have it replaced if one of the following situations is true for you:

  • Your card was lost or stolen
  • Your card was mutilated or destroyed
  • Your name has changed
  • You never received your card
  • There is a mistake on your card
  • You became a Permanent Resident before your 14th birthday

There are a number of reasons that could lead to a denied greed card application. The most common reasons are for criminal activity and the adjustment of your immigrant category.

If you fail to renew your green card, you can be subject to a misdemeanor conviction with a $100 fine, up to 30 days in jail or both. More attention has been given to green card holders who are not carrying the required information since the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

Those who need a temporary green card while waiting for their application to go through can request an I-551 stamp on their passport.