Green Card Renewal Tips

Green card renewal time? Here are some tips to help the process go smoothly.

1. Make sure to use the right form.

The form you use to renew your green card depends on your green card status and the reason for renewing (or replacing) your green card. If you hold a 10-year permanent residence green card, you must use the Form I-90 to renew. You are also entitled to use this form to get a new green card if:

• your card has been lost, damaged, destroyed or stolen,
• your biographic information has changed (e.g. you changed your name)
• the USCIS has entered erroneous information on your green card
• your green card was issued but you never received it
• failed to receive your green card.

If you have a 2-year green card, the correct form depends on your status. Individuals with marriage-based conditional green cards must file Form I-751, officially called the “Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence.” If you are an entrepreneur or investor with a conditional 2-year green card, you will need to use Form I-829 to remove the conditions and renew.

2. Start preparing for green card renewal early.
The green card renewal application requires various documents to support your request. The nature of the documents needed depends on the reason for your filing. For example:
• If your card has been lost damaged or destroyed, you will need to provide a copy of your Permanent Resident Card or a government-issued form of identification that contains your name, date of birth, photograph, and signature.
• If your name has changed or the current green card has incorrect biographical information, you will need a copy of appropriate legal documents that reflect new or correct biographical data.

Look here for a full list of supporting documents needed for the different circumstances. Make a checklist of the items you will need and review the checklist before filing the application.

3. File for renewal at the appropriate time.

If you hold a 10-year green card, be sure to file for renewal within six months of the card’s expiration date. Although you will not lose your green card status if the card expires, if you travel internationally with an expired card, you’re likely to have difficulty re-entering the United States. You might also have trouble getting hired for a job, renewing a drivers’ license or completing other activities that required a valid green card.

If you hold a 2-year card, you’re entitled to file for renewal/removal of conditions within 90-days of your card’s expiration. If your green card expires before you have filed for renewal, you might be deported.

Although you should be timely in filing for renewal, don’t file too early: The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) may send the application back–and keep the fee.

I have helped hundreds of immigrants with various issues during my 15-year career as an immigration attorney. Please contact my office so that I can start helping you too!