Planning to renew your green card? Here are the top questions on the I-90 green card renewal process.

Green Card Renewal Application Process

 

Living with an Expired Green Card

Green Card Renewal Application Process

How can I tell when I need to renew my green card?

All green cards issued after 1989 have expiration dates on the front of the card. There have been 3 different versions of the card issued since this time, but all three have the expiration date on the front after the text that reads: “Card Expires.” Below is an example of the most current card, with the expiration date circled in blue.

If your green card was issued between 1977 and 1989 it does not contain an expiration date, however, it should be replaced. You can do this with Form I-90.

If your card was issued before 1977, then it is no longer valid and needs to be renewed.

Do I have to renew my green card?

The USCIS states that you MUST replace your green card if:

  • You were issued a card valid for 10 years that has either expired or will expire within six months.
  • You have a Permanent Resident Card that does not have an expiration date on it.
  • Your card has been lost, stolen, or damaged.
  • You were issued a card valid for 10 years before you turned 14 years old, and it will not expire before your 16th birthday.
  • Your card was issued with incorrect data (name, DOB, issued date) due to USCIS administrative error.

You also may replace your green card if:

  • Your name or other biographic information has been legally changed.
  • You have taken up commuter status. This means you commute regularly to work in the United States but reside in Canada or Mexico.

Most green cards are valid for 10 years. If you have conditional permanent resident status based on marriage or investment, your card will only be valid for two years (until you petition to have the conditions on your permanent resident status removed).

Note: If you are a conditional permanent resident you cannot replace your card if it is expired, or within 90 days of expiring. A conditional permanent resident whose card is expiring may apply to have the conditions on his or her permanent resident status removed.

What should I do if my green card is already expired?

If your green card has already expired, you should apply to renew it as soon as possible. You will not be penalized for an expired green card.

Will I lose my permanent resident status if I do not renew my green card?

No, you will not lose your permanent resident status if you do not renew your green card. Permanent resident status is permanent. It does not expire or change. However, you are required by law to carry evidence of your status/registration (e.g. a valid, unexpired green card or temporary proof of status you receive at the time of filing to renew your green card).

How do I apply to renew my green card?

To renew or replace your green card, you must complete the following steps:

  1. Complete the Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card.
  2. Submit the filing fee(s). Include the appropriate filing fees (including the biometric services fee, if applicable) with your application.
  3. Submit evidence. The USCIS requires you include supporting evidence, documents that prove you’re eligible, with your application.
  4. Sign and file the application. File the application at the correct filing location according to the form instructions.

How can I get temporary proof of permanent resident status while I wait for my new green card?

The following documents can serve as temporary evidence of lawful permanent resident status:

  • A foreign passport with a temporary Form I-551 stamp or I-551-printed notation on a machine-readable immigrant visa (MRIV).
  • An expired green card with Form I-797, Notice of Action, indicating that the card is valid for an additional year
  • A Form I-94 with a temporary Form I-551 stamp, which is a receipt for the green card. At the end of the receipt validity period, which is the expiration date of the stamp, the employee must present his or her Permanent Resident Card (Form I-551).

To request interim evidence of permanent residence, contact a USCIS Field Office or make an InfoPass appointment.

How long will it take to get my new green card?

Processing times vary for USCIS applications. You can check specific processing times by visiting www.uscis.gov.

When should I apply to renew my green card?

You should renew your green card if the card is either expired or will expire within the next 6 months.

Note: If you are a conditional permanent resident you cannot replace your card if it is expired, or within 90 days of expiring. A conditional permanent resident whose card is expiring may apply to have the conditions on his or her permanent resident status removed.

What if I can’t afford the I-90 green card renewal application fee?

You can request a fee waiver for the I-90 application if you can provide documentation showing that you qualify based upon one of the following criteria:

  • You, your spouse, or the head of household living with you, are currently receiving a means-tested benefit.
  • Your household income is at or below 150 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines at the time you file. Check the current Federal Poverty Guidelines for this year at Form I-912P, HHS Poverty Guidelines for Fee Waiver Requests.
  • You are currently experiencing financial hardship that prevents you from paying the filing fee, including unexpected medical bills or emergencies.

To request a fee waiver, file Form I-912 with your I-90 green card renewal application.

What do I do if I’m disabled and cannot go to my USCIS biometrics appointment?

The USCIS provides special accommodations for disabled people. If you need an accommodation due to a disability, call the National Customer Service Center (NCSC) at 1-800-375-5283 (TDD: 1-800-767-1833).

 

Living with an Expired Green Card

What will happen if I let my green card expire?

Having an expired green card could cause lots of problems. While you won’t lose your permanent resident status, the law requires you to carry a valid green card at all times.

Without a valid green card, it can be difficult to get a new job. Employers are required to verify your identity and permission to work in the United States. When starting a new job, you will generally be asked to complete the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services I-9 form. With it, you’ll need to provide valid proof of your immigration status.

You also need a valid green card to re-enter the U.S. after traveling abroad. And, you need a valid green card to renew a driver’s license in most states.

What can I use for an identification document if my green card is expired?

To prove your identity, typically you can use a government-issued photo ID. This includes a passport, driver’s license or military-ID.

If you need to prove your permanent resident status, you will need a different document. The following documents can serve as temporary evidence of lawful permanent resident status:

  • A foreign passport with a temporary Form I-551 stamp or I-551-printed notation on a machine-readable immigrant visa (MRIV).
  • An expired green card with Form I-797, Notice of Action, indicating that the card is valid for an additional year
  • A Form I-94 with a temporary Form I-551 stamp, which is a receipt for the green card. At the end of the receipt validity period, which is the expiration date of the stamp, the employee must present his or her Permanent Resident Card (Form I-551).

To request interim evidence of permanent residence, contact a USCIS Field Office or make an InfoPass appointment.

What will happen if I travel with an expired green card?

There is the possibility that you won’t be able to re-enter the United States with an expired green card. Some airlines may not allow you on the plane. Others may require you have a Form I-131A, Travel Document, costing you a fee $575. It’s also possible that you won’t encounter any problems.

Is it worth the risk? Probably not. Better to get a new green card before you go.

Can I get a job with an expired green card?

Without a valid green card, it can be difficult to get a new job. Employers are required to verify your identity and permission to work in the United States. When starting a new job, you will generally be asked to complete the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services I-9 form. With it, you’ll need to provide valid proof of your immigration status.

Can I apply for benefits with an expired green card?

Many public benefits applications, including Social Security and SNAP food benefits, require proof of permanent resident status to apply. While you may be technically eligible for public benefits even if your green card is expired, it could be difficult to process your application without valid proof of status.