A Step-By-Step Guide To Renew A Green Card

There is a set procedure that you are required to follow in order to renew green card in the United States of America. It is very important for you to keep in mind that green cards are usually not issued for life. In general, it is issued for a period of ten years. You must renew the same when it expires. If you do not renew it in time, you may lose your right to live in the US legally, as this permanent residence card is the only piece of document that makes you a legal citizen of this country. It is often advised to apply for a renewal of the card in advance, at least six months before it is going to expire. Following are some basic steps that you need to follow in this regard.

Check The Expiration Date

The first thing you have to do is to check the expiration date of your permanent residency card. In the US, the expatriation date is usually ten years from the date when the card was issued. You must renew your green card if it is going to expire in six months or if it already has crossed the expiration date. Here, it is very important for you to understand that if your citizenship status is “conditional resident”, your card is likely to be valid for only twenty-four months. Therefore, if that is the case with you, you must take necessary actions immediately to get those conditions removed.

Get The Application Form

You are required to fill out a specific form (Form I-90) to apply for a new green card. The best way is to download the form from the official website of USCIS. The form is a simple one, as it requires you to fill up some basic details only that may include your A number, your Social Security number, U.S. mailing address, and your full name. You are also required to put your signature on the form.

Submit The Form

Read the instructions on the form thoroughly and then submit the form to renew your green card accordingly. You generally have two choices to submit the form – either electronically or by mail. The forms must be submitted along with the filing and biometrics fees; you can pay the fees either through a money order or a check that must be payable to the Department of Homeland Security in the United States of America. Do not forget to attach a copy of your current card (or the one that has already expired, if that is the case) with the form.

Biometrics Appointment

You will soon receive a letter from the USCIS with instructions regarding the biometrics appointment. Make sure you reach in a timely manner; it will be better if you reach at least fifteen minutes in advance. You may be asked to submit some additional evidences. You must also be prepared in advance for an interview. Once the interview is over, you will have to wait for a few days or may be a few weeks before you could get another letter from the USCIS confirming whether your application to renew your green card has been approved or rejected. If it has been approved, you will receive your new permanent residence card. If rejected, you will be informed in writing about the reasons why your application got rejected and you may consult with a green card lawyer to know your best course of action.