In 2019, there were 44.9 million immigrants in the United States.
If you are one of those immigrants and your Green Card is about to expire, you might be wondering how the Green Card renewal process works.
Thankfully, we have the perfect guide to help you renew your Green Card, so make sure you keep reading!
Do You Still Need a Green Card?
A Green Card will give you the legal right to work and live in the United States. If you have permanent resident status on top of that, you’ll also be able to apply for government jobs too.
You’ll also be able to receive educational and health benefits. You always need to carry your Green Card with you, so you’ll need to apply for renewal.
If your Green Card has expired or you have changed your name or you lost it, you’ll need to look into getting a Green Card again.
How Do You Renew It?
To renew your card, you’ll need to fill out Form I-90. This is an application form that is seven pages long, and you can get it from the Department of Homeland Security.
You’ll need to fill out the entire application and have a permanent resident file. If you have a permanent resident who has commuter status, you can have them renew or replace resident cards as well.
You’ll file this application with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). There are instructions on their website on how to fill out the forms.
You can complete it electronically, but some people choose to send their applications by mail.
When you fill out the form, make sure you provide accurate information and find the relevant supporting documents. You should always read the instructions carefully because if you make any mistakes, it could delay your application.
The documents you’ll need to provide depend on why you’re applying for a new Green Card. For example, if your Green Card was stolen or lost, you’ll need to send photocopies of the card. You’ll also need to send photocopies of other government IDs that prove your identity.
Lastly, make sure you sign the application form, otherwise, the rest will be invalid.
On the other hand, if your immigration status got automatically converted to a Green Card status, you’ll have to send in Form I-90 with relevant IDs and proof of your residence status. You’ll need to fill out Form I-797 or I-700 for that along with a photo and birthday.
How Long Does It Take?
Once you file your petition, request, or application, the USCIS will have to schedule an appointment for biometric services. This appointment will usually be at the closest Application Support Center (ASC).
Getting the appointment scheduled will take about four to six weeks from when you file your request. Your appointment will generally take place about six to eight weeks from the date you filed.
Once you receive the notice for the appointment, it normally takes about three weeks to make the appointment. Ensure that you read the guidelines for what you need to bring so that you don’t delay the process more.
After you’ve gone to your appointment and everything went well, the USCIS will keep working on your Green Card renewal. From there, this can take about six to ten months. You should receive your Green Card by then.
In some cases, you can also have your Green Card renewal case expedited, but you may need to contact a lawyer for help with that. Sometimes the USCS can take even longer depending on how busy they are, so make sure you keep track of the process.
How Much Does it Cost?
While the prices can change, on average it costs around $540 to renew an already expired Green Card. This includes an $85 biometric fee along with a $455 filing fee.
However, you might be able to avoid paying these fees if the USCIS had already issued your card but it never came in the mail. Also, you can avoid paying them if the Department of Homeland Security.
Some people will also qualify for a fee waiver, so you should ask about that as well.
What to Do If You’re Outside of the United States?
If you’re outside of the United States, you won’t need to file a Form I-131A, which is an application for a travel document.
The policy from Customs and Border Protection says that you can use this form to come into the United States as long as you have an expired ten-year Green Card. You can also use that form if you have an expired two-year Permanent Residence Card.
However, if you go with the second option, you’ll also need to fill out Form I-797, which is a Notice of Action saying that your status has been extended.
When you have these documents, you can come back to the United States and not have to worry about filing Form I-131A. However, you should verify those documents as soon as possible.
Once you come back to the United States, you should be able to renew your Green Card for another ten years.
Learn More About How to Get a Green Card Renewal
These are only a few things to know about Green Card renewal, but there are many more factors to consider.
We know that dealing with immigration can be stressful, but we’re here to help you out.
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