You are now a Green card holder!! Congrats!! Your Green card or Permanent resident card is proof of your legal status in the country. It shows that you are legally allowed to stay and work anywhere in the United States. As a Green card holder, the law requires you to carry a valid Green card with you at all times.
The Green card is a very important document, and must be kept safe at all times. You can take photocopies of the Green card and keep it safe. If your Green card is lost, stolen or damaged you must immediately file for replacing your Green card. In order to maintain Permanent Residence, you must have a physical residence and physical presence in the United States. Spending long duration of time outside the United States, usually more than a year, can result in loss of permanent residence. When you change your address or physical residence, you must notify the USCIS by submitting the AR-11.
Being a Green card holder increases your eligibility for employment, when you complete the Form I-9, which is the Employment Eligibility Verification form. You can also apply for a driver's’ license and a Social Security card if you are a Green card holder.
Renewing your 10 year valid Green Card
If you have a Green card that is valid for 10 years, and has expired or going to expire within the next six months, you begin the process of renewing the Green card immediately. In order to renew your Green card, you must file an Application for Green card renewal, Form I-90 with the USCIS. You can file the application online and also pay the processing fees online. The other way is to complete and download the application, sign the form and mail the application along with a Money Order form for the processing fees. You must also send copies of the supporting documents in the application packet.
Conditional Green Card
If you have a conditional Green card, remember that you cannot renew your Green card. At the end of the 2 year conditional permanent residence, you must apply to the USCIS to have your conditions on your Green card removed. You must apply for removing the conditions 90 days prior to the expiry of the Green card. If you do not remove the conditions on your conditional Green card you will lose your permanent residence. In order to have the conditions removed from your Green card, you must file Petition to remove conditions on Residence Form I-751 with the USCIS.