How do I renew or change my Green Card?

You are the lucky owner of a Green Card and just recently noticed that your physical Green Card will soon expire. No worries! The validity of your Green Card has nothing to do with your status as a legal US resident. It is however your responsibility to always carry a valid Green Card with you at all time and keep the information on your Green Card up-to-date. Keep reading to find out more about renewing or changing your Green Card.  

When do I need to renew a Green Card?

There are two dates on your Green Card: The date the card was issued and the date when the physical card becomes invalid. The physical Green Card is valid for 10 years, but your status as lawful permanent resident is forever as long as all conditions are met.

Having a valid physical Green Card is very important though. It is proof that you are a lawful permanent resident of the USA. It most cases, you are not allowed to re-enter the USA without it. Furthermore, taking up employment, opening a bank account or getting a driver’s license is not possible without a valid Green Card. It is important to renew your physical Green Card before it even expires. 

The Green Card is valid for 10 years, but can be easily renewed.

 

How can I renew my Green Card after 10 years?

How time flies! Ten years go by quickly, especially when you are a lucky Green Card Lottery winner and living the dream in the USA! In all the fun, don’t forget to keep an eye your Green Card’s expiration date.

Six months before your physical Green Card expires, you must complete the so-called Form I-90 Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card. This application can be completed online or sent in the mail to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). In order to send an application online, however, you must create an online account with USCIS. It is free of charge and easy to do!

Currently, the administration fee for the application is $455 and the payment can be made with credit card and check only. The applicant must also remain in the USA during the application process. USCIS may require the applicant to attend a biometrics appointment. Applicants must prove their identity at a field office by giving fingerprints and taking photos.  

Renewing a Green Card after turning 14 years old

If a Green Card was issued to a person under the age of 14, the Green Card holder is required to renew the physical card when they turn 14 years old. The process is the same as described above. You must complete the Form I-90 and send it to USCIS. In the form, you can choose from a list of reasons why you are renewing your Green Card. On this list is the option for children turning 14 years old. The same administrations fees for renewing a Green Card apply here as well. 

Picture of two small girls waving an American flag

Green Cards which were issued before the age of 14 must be renewed once the holder turns 14 years old.


There is no expiration date on my Green Card

If there is no expiration date on your Green Card, then you must renew your Green Card immediately. A missing expiration date means that your Green Card was issued before 1990 and is no longer valid. That is why renewing your permanent resident card is urgent. The applicant must again complete the Form I-90.

How do I renew my conditional permanent resident card?

A conditional permanent resident Green Card is an immigration visa issued under certain conditions. The visa cannot be renewed and is valid for two years. The visa can, however, be converted into a permanent Green Card. To do this, the applicant is required to complete one of the two forms listed below and submit them to USCIS at least 90 days before the conditional permanent resident card expires:

  • Applicants whose Green Card is based on marriage must complete Form I-751 Petition to Remove the Conditions of Residence
  • Applicants whose Green Card is based on employment must complete Form I-829 Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions

How to make changes to your Green Card

The Green Card is the most important form of identification for U.S. immigrants. That is why it is so important for all Green Card holders to make sure all the information on their lawful permanent resident card is correct. Any time your personal information changes, for example if you marry and your last name changes, then you must immediately apply for a new Green Card. To do this, you must once again complete and submit the Form I-90.  

Mistake on your Green Card

Your Green Card will be issued and mailed to you after your first trip to the USA as a Green Card holder.  After receiving your Green Card, you should always make sure that all the information on your Green Card is correct. If there is a mistake in your name, A-number, birthdate, birthplace, etc., then you must apply to have these mistakes corrected immediately. In this case, you must also complete and submit the Form 1-90. The only difference is that you do not need to pay the fee for a mistake made by USCIS.

Lost Green Card - What to do? 

It is the nightmare of all US immigrants: Your Green Card has been lost or stolen. This loss must be reported immediately since the Green Card is your main identification as a lawful permanent resident of the USA. Continue reading to find out how to report a lost or stolen Green Card while outside or in the USA. 

Green Card lost outside of the USA

It is quite a shock when your identification papers are lost or stolen while you are outside of the USA. Green Card holders will especially have problems re-entering the USA without their lawful permanent resident card, but it is not impossible. US immigrants returning to the United States can enter without a Green Card or an expired one if they complete the Form I-131A Application for Travel Document – Carrier Documentation. The application process must be completed before returning to the USA.

This application will be processed by the US embassy responsible for your case. After your application has been sent, you will be required to personally appear in the U.S. embassy for an interview appointment. The US embassy will then issue you a transport letter. This letter allows you to re-enter the USA without your visa. After returning to the United States, the applicant must complete the Form I-90 to replace their lost or stolen Green Card.

Green Card lost in the USA

If your permanent resident card is lost or stolen in the USA, then the I-1551 stamp in your passport can be used as a temporary visa. If this stamp is no longer valid, then you must contact the USCIS field office closest to you and schedule an appointment. During this time, you should also complete and submit the Form I-90. USCIS will send you a so-called “Notice of Action”(Form I-797) to confirm the receipt of your application. This letter must be brought to your USCIS field office appointment and you will get a new I-1551 stamp in your passport. This temporary visa can be use until you receive your new physical Green Card. 

Sources:

https://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/files/form/i-90instr.pdf

https://www.uscis.gov/i-90 

https://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/USCIS/Resources/B2en.pdf

https://www.uscis.gov/green-card/after-green-card-granted/conditional-permanent-residence

https://citizenpath.com/expired-green-card-problems/

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