Why should you renew your Green Card?
If you are a permanent resident of the United States and possess a Green card you will have to renew it once in every ten years. The Green card is proof of your Permanent Residency and is valid for 10 years. Even though your status as a permanent resident does not expire even though your Green card does, it is best to carry a valid Green Card with you at all times.
Renewing a Green card is very important as it is the proof that you are eligible to work here in the country. It is necessary for taking up a new job, to obtain a driver’s license, and to travel internationally without any hassles. You can apply to renew your Green card six months prior to the expiration date.
In addition to an expiring Green Card, you can apply for renewal if your Green card is lost or stolen, damaged/mutilated in any form or if your information on the card is misspelt or wrong and has to be changed. If your Green card was issued before 1989 and does not contain an expiration date, you must immediately renew the card and obtain a new one.
How can I renew my Green Card?
To renew your Green Card, you must file Form I-90, Application for Renewal of Green Card with the USCIS. You can fill the Form I-90 online and submit the application online or through mail. The processing fees for the application can also be paid online. If you are submitting the application through mail, you need to send a cheque or money order for the processing fees along with the application. The online process is much simpler and easier as you can also upload the supporting documents and use your electronic signature to complete the application. You must always keep copies of the filled in application and the documents you send to the USCIS.
Form I-90, Application for renewal of Green card
The Form I-90 consists of a number of questions like your name, your addresses (past and present), details about your parents, your date of birth, country of birth, your social security number, the date and class of your admission, the reason for application of your Green Card renewal, the USCIS office where your Green Card was issued. After filling up the application form, you need to include a copy of your Green card and all supporting documents along with the application package when you send it to the USCIS.
The Green card renewal timeline
Here is an approximate timeline of the Green card renewal process. The entire process may take upto six months, from filing the application with the USCIS till you receive the new Green Card. The time frame however varies for each applicant.
Approximately 1 to 3 weeks after you file the application: You will receive a receipt from USCIS, Form I-797C, called Notice of Action. This contains a receipt number which can be used to track the status of your application anytime during the process.
Approximately 3 to 5 weeks after filing the application: You will receive an appointment notice for your biometric screening.
Approximately 5 to 8 weeks after you file: You must attend your biometric appointment, which usually lasts for upto 30 minutes.
Approximately 5 to 6 months after filing the application: Once the application is successfully processed by the USCIS, you will receive your Green card in the mail.
The Bottom Line
Renewing your Green card is neither cheap nor a quick process. The Green card renewal process can be stressful if you don’t know where to start. We are here to help you complete the Green card renewal online application in a much easier and simpler way.