If you have a green card and need to renew it, USCIS has simple instructions available online. You can also track the status of your application using the receipt number from Form I-797C.
It’s important to file for renewal well in advance of the expiration date. Failing to do so could leave you with a gap in your proof of permanent residency that can result in complications.
It is a good idea to file your green card renewal application no more than six months in advance of your expiration date. USCIS will usually process your request more quickly if you do so. If USCIS denies your green card renewal application, you can always request reconsideration with the help of an experienced immigration attorney.
You should combine all of your forms, supporting documents and fees into one packet to file with USCIS. Include a cover letter explaining what you are submitting with your packet.
Renewing your green card isn’t something you have to do often, but it’s important to be aware of the deadline and take action before your card expires. Having an expired green card can make it difficult to re-enter the United States or conduct other life business, and it could also affect your eligibility for U.S. citizenship. For this reason, many people choose to work with an experienced immigration lawyer for their green card renewal.
When USCIS receives your form, they will send you a notice that includes an appointment date, time and location for you to come in and have your fingerprints, photo and signature taken. Generally this appointment will be scheduled at the Application Support Center (ASC) closest to your home, but some ASCs are open to early walk-in appointments for those who cannot make it during the busiest times of the day.
The ASC notice will include an ASC code in the top right corner, which can be used to find the correct ASC using the USCIS Service and Office Locator tool. In most cases only the person who is renewing their green card will need to attend, but the sponsor can also come along if he or she wishes to.
Applicants with criminal records should always seek legal assistance for their immigration process to ensure that they adequately disclose their criminal history at the appropriate junctures. This is especially advisable for renewals of green cards, which are often delayed or denied when applicants are not able to properly and fully disclose their past criminal convictions.
You will need to file Form I-90, which asks for information about your green card and why you need a new one. The instructions for the form will tell you what documents to submit depending on which category of renewal you choose: Section A for permanent residents or Section B for commuter or conditional residents.
After USCIS accepts your I-90, they will send you a notice of biometrics appointment with a date, time and location where you will have your fingertips, photo and signature taken. The notice will also contain a 13-character receipt number you can use to check the status of your I-90.
You should re-read the receipt notice to ensure you understand what steps you need to take to get your new card. If you have any questions, talk to a green card attorney before filing your renewal or replacement application. If your application is denied, your lawyer can help you appeal the decision.
Most green cards are issued for a 10-year period, and you must renew it when the expiration date nears. If you fail to do so, you will lose your lawful permanent residency status and become subject to deportation.
The cost to renew a green card is $540, and it includes the filing fee for the paperwork and the fee for your biometrics appointment. The fees are typically paid with a Visa, MasterCard or American Express card. They can also be paid with a check or money order, but USCIS does not accept cash.
The green card renewal process can be complex and lengthy. To avoid costly delays, it is recommended that you speak to a qualified immigration attorney to prepare and file your renewal on time. A skilled lawyer will ensure that all required documentation is included and submitted to USCIS for processing. In addition, they can help you to qualify for a fee waiver if you do not have enough income to pay the required fees.