Renewing a green card involves applying for a new permanent resident card to maintain legal status in the United States. This process is necessary to avoid potential consequences such as deportation or difficulty obtaining employment. In this article, we will discuss the steps involved in renewing a green card and provide tips for a successful application process.
Understanding the Green Card Renewal Process
A green card is a legal document that proves an individual’s lawful permanent resident status in the United States. It is essential to ensure that your green card is valid to continue living and working in the country legally. Generally, green cards are valid for ten years, after which you will need to renew them. Renewing your green card is a crucial process, and it is essential to understand the requirements and procedures involved.
Green Card Renewal Eligibility
To renew your green card, you must meet specific eligibility requirements. You must have a valid green card that will expire within six months, or your green card must have already expired. Additionally, you must not have abandoned your permanent resident status by staying outside of the US for more than one year.
Filing Form I-90
The USCIS requires you to file Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card, to renew your green card. In this form, you will need to provide your biographic and immigration information, including your current and previous addresses, employment details, and travel history. You will also need to submit supporting documentation, such as a copy of your expiring or expired green card and two passport-style photos.
After submitting Form I-90, you will receive a biometrics appointment notice from the USCIS. During this appointment, you will need to provide your fingerprints, signature, and a photograph. The USCIS uses this information to conduct background checks and verify your identity.
Green Card Renewal Processing Time
the green card renewal process can take several months, depending on the USCIS workload and the complexity of your application. Generally, the USCIS processes green card renewal applications within six to twelve months. However, you can check your application status online through the USCIS website or contact their customer service center.
Common Mistakes to Avoid When Renewing Your Green Card
Renewing your green card may seem like a straightforward process, but it can be complicated and time-consuming. Many applicants make mistakes that can lead to delays or even rejection of their application. Here are some common mistakes to avoid when renewing your green card:
Not Renewing on Time
It is essential to renew your green card before it expires. If you fail to renew it on time, you may face challenges when traveling, applying for jobs, or even renewing your driver’s license. Additionally, if your green card has already expired, you may be subject to deportation.
Providing Incorrect Information
When completing Form I-90, it is crucial to provide accurate and truthful information. Any incorrect or false information may lead to delays or even rejection of your application. Therefore, it is essential to review your application before submitting it to ensure that all the information is correct.
Not Submitting Supporting Documentation
Along with Form I-90, you must submit supporting documentation, such as a copy of your expiring or expired green card and two passport-style photos. Failing to submit these documents may lead to delays or even rejection of your application. Therefore, it is crucial to ensure that you provide all the necessary documentation when submitting your application.
Not Attending Biometrics Appointment
After submitting Form I-90, you will receive a biometrics appointment notice. It is essential to attend this appointment as scheduled. Failing to attend this appointment may lead to delays or even rejection of your application. Therefore, it is crucial to mark the appointment date on your calendar and make arrangements to attend it.
Not Checking Application Status
It is essential to check your application status regularly to ensure that it is being processed. You can check your application status online through the USCIS website or contact their customer service center. If you notice any delays or issues with your application, you can take appropriate action to resolve them.
FAQs – Renewing Green Card Process
What is the green card renewing process?
A green card is a document that indicates an individual’s permanent resident status in the United States. The green card is usually valid for ten years, after which it must be renewed. The process of renewing a green card involves completing and submitting an application form, paying the required fees, and attending a biometric appointment.
When should I start the green card renewal process?
It is advisable to start the green card renewal process at least six months before the expiration date of your current green card. This will allow ample time for the application to be processed and for you to receive the renewed green card before the expiration of your current one. If you fail to apply for renewal before the expiration date, you risk losing your status as a permanent resident.
What documents are required for the green card renewing process?
The documents required for the green card renewal process include the application form, proof of identity and residence, and a color photograph. In some cases, additional documents may be required, such as evidence of previous convictions, deportation or exclusion, and any relevant court or police records.
How long does it take to renew a green card?
The processing time for a green card renewal application varies and can take several months, depending on various factors such as the volume of applications being processed, the complexity of your case, and any other unforeseen circumstances. It is advisable to submit your application well in advance of the expiration date of your current green card to ensure that you receive the new one on time.
What happens if my green card expires while my application is pending?
If your green card expires while your renewal application is still pending, you will be considered to be in a period of authorized stay. This means that you will not be in violation of your immigration status, and you will not be subject to deportation or removal proceedings. However, you must make sure to carry proof of your pending application and your expired green card whenever you travel or need to prove your immigration status. It is advisable to consult with an immigration attorney if you are in this situation.
Can I travel internationally while my green card renewal application is pending?
Yes, you can travel internationally while your green card renewal application is pending. However, you must carry proof of your pending application and your expired green card with you. Additionally, you may need to obtain a travel document from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to re-enter the United States. It is advisable to consult with an immigration attorney before traveling internationally while your renewal application is pending.