When should you renew a green card and how should you go about doing it? We'll answer all your green card renewal/replacement related questions below and take you through each step of the renewal process.

When Should You Renew/Replace a Green Card?

If you are a permanent resident of the United States and your green card has either already expired or will expire in the next six months, it’s time to renew your green card. You cannot file your I-90 Form for renewal more than six months before your current one expires. Should you lose your green card, immediately begin the green card replacement process.

Circumstances When You Should Renew Your Green Card

You should proceed with the green card renewal/replacement process if:

  • You have a valid green card that has expired or will expire within 6 months
  • Your card was stolen, damaged, or lost
  • You changed your name or other biographic information
  • You reached the age of 14 (card holders that received a card before age 14 must get a new one at/before 14)
  • You are outside the U.S and your card will expire within 6 months, but you plan to return to the U.S before it expires

Why is Renewing Your Green Card Important?

Losing your permanent resident card or letting it expire does not mean you lost your permanent residence status. However, a green card is important because:

It Proves Eligibility for Employment

To apply for a U.S. job, an applicant must fill out an I-9. This form requires either a passport, driver's license, or green card number to verify identity and legality to work.

It Allows Domestic and International Travel

Airlines require a passport, driver's license, or green card even for domestic flights. Expired cards won't generally be accepted when going through security. Should your green card expire while you are abroad, you may be denied reaccess to the country or charged a re-entry fee of $585.

Green Card Renewal Process

  • Submit an Application: You will need to fill out USCIS Form I-90 and pay the applicable fees. Make sure to sign and date your application, or it will need to be sent in again. Contact an immigration attorney if you have questions regarding this step.
  • Submit a Copy of Your Current Green Card: When you send in Form I-90, you'll need to include a copy of your expiring or expired green card. If your name no longer matches the name on your current green card, you need to submit proof of this name change.
  • Complete Your Biometrics Appointment: If your I-90 was filled out correctly, you'll receive a letter requesting that you visit your local USCIS Application Support Center (ASC) for a biometrics appointment. This is a simple fingerprint ID to check your record and ensure you haven't committed any crimes.
  • Receive Your New Green Card: Assuming all the previous steps go as planned, the USCIS will send you your new green card in the mail. In rare cases, the USCIS may need to call you for additional information before you can renew your green card.

Get Help With Renewing or Replacing Your Green Card From A San Antonio Immigration Lawyer

The immigration attorneys at Salmón-Haas can help you through the green card renewal/replacement process. If you're interested in learning more about our immigration services, contact Salmón-Haas today.

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