So you’ve just realized your green card is about to expire or has already expired, what do you do? Here’s a quick guide for your next steps and how to navigate an expired or expiring card.

Verify expiration

Depending on the design of your card you should be able to find the expiration date. If your card has expired or if it is set to expire within six months you should apply to renew it ASAP.

Renewing a green card can take up to six months so planning it out is the best course of action.

Renewal Process

Depending on the type of green card you have, the process and more importantly the forms you file will be different.

Permanent residents

If you are a permanent resident, your card is valid for 10 years, you have to file Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card, in order to renew. This is the same form you would use if your card was lost or stolen so don’t let the title fool you.

Conditional residents

Those with conditional green cards will see their cards expire two years after the issue date. Those residents will have to file a Petition to Remove Conditions of Residence within 90 days of the card’s expiration.

Two forms are available for conditional residents:

  • Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions of Residence based on marriage applies if you are married to an American citizen or a permanent resident.
  • Form I-829, Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions applies if you were granted residency based on investments by you or a family member.

Card expired outside the United States

If you have not applied to renew your green card and it expires while you’re outside the United States you should contact the nearest port of entry, U.S. Consulate or USCIS office before attempting to file for renewal.

If your card expires

If you are a legal permanent resident and your green card expires you may have trouble re-entering the United States if you travel abroad. Some employers also require a valid green card. You may also have trouble renewing your driver’s license. Your status in the country will NOT be impacted 

For conditional green card holders, if your card expires and you fail to renew in time you will become removable from the United States. You can file an application late but you will need to provide concrete evidence explaining to the USCIS why you were unable to file on time. An immigration officer will then approve or deny your petition.

FileRight.com is here to make that renewal process easy.

You may also consider starting your naturalization application if you’re a long time green card holder.

Take the eligibility quiz now.