Form I-90 Instructions

U.S. permanent residents are required to carry a valid green card at all times. If your green card is expired, damaged or lost, you’ll need to replace it. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Form I-90 is the application to replace or renew a green card.

When does a Green Card Expire?

Most green cards expire every 10 years. However, conditional green cards expire after only two years. Conditional green cards cannot be renewed; instead, conditional green card holders must apply to remove conditions on their residence within the 90 days before the cards expiration date. For 10-year green card holders, the USCIS recommends beginning the renewal processes within 6 months of the green card’s expiration date. Below are examples of the two most recently issued green cards, with the expiration dates highlighted in a red box.

 

 

 

What Is the Purpose of Form I-90?

The USCIS Form I-90 is the application to renew or replace a green card. This form is used to renew an expired or expiring green card, or to replace a lost, stolen or damaged green card. The form itself is administered by the USCIS and they are the ones who will approve or deny the application, as well as send you a new, valid green card.

Form I-90 USCIS Filing Fee

As of September 2018, the USCIS charges a fee of $455 for the processing of Form I-90. In most cases, the USCIS will also require applicants to pay an $85 biometric services fee for a total of $540.

Do I Have to Pay the Filing Fee?

You may be exempt from the filing fee if you qualify for a Fee Waiver OR if you are filing for one of the following reasons:

  • Your previous card was issued but never received.
  • Your existing card has incorrect data because of an error made by the Department of Homeland Security.
  • You are 14 years old and your existing card will expire after your 16th birthday. (You are still required to pay the $85 biometric services fee.)1

Biometrics Appointment

Biometric services require you to go to an Application Support Center to have your fingerprints, photograph and/or signature taken. Biometrics allow the USCIS to confirm your identity and run required background and security checks.

Do I Have to Pay for Biometrics?

All I-90 applicants are required to have their biometrics taken UNLESS you are filing for one of the following reasons:

  • Your previous card was issued but never received.
  • Your existing card has incorrect data because of an error by the Department of Homeland Security.

Where to File Form I-90?

All I-90 applications must be filed with the USCIS. However, you can use a service to first help you complete the I-90 application and then file it with the USCIS. Online software services, such as ours, can help you properly prepare your form and provide customized instructions that will help you to properly file your application with the USCIS.

Form I-90 Online

The USCIS provides an option to file your I-90 application online. However, they provide very little support to help you file correctly.

This application is so important (and expensive!) you want to make sure you file it without mistakes. Online software services like www.us-immigration.com can help you complete your application properly and provide customer support along the way. Start your green card renewal form online.

General Form Filing Instructions

The I-90 is an important application and can be confusing. While it is a short application, it’s important to answer all the questions completely and correctly. To do this, you need to understand the form instructions. Here’s an overview.

For detailed explanations of form instructions and step-by-step guidance, complete your I-90 application with us

1. Check to see if the I-90 is the correct form

Not all U.S. permanent residents should file Form I-90 to replace an expiring green card. If you are a conditional permanent resident, do NOT use this form. Conditional permanent residents are not eligible to renew their green cards and instead need to apply to remove conditions on residence using a different form. If you became a conditional permanent resident through marriage, you should file Form I-751 within 90 days of your green card’s expiration date. If you became a conditional permanent resident based on the creation of a new commercial enterprise and a financial investment (entrepreneur pathway), you should file Form I-829 within 90 days of your green card’s expiration date.

2. Complete the entire form, answering ALL questions

The USCIS requires you to answer ALL questions on the form, fully and accurately. Leaving a question blank could cause your form to be rejected and returned to you for correction, making the entire process even longer. If a question does not apply to you (for example, if you have never been married and the question asks, “Provide the name of your current spouse”), answer “N/A” (not applicable).

3. Supporting documentation (evidence) and copies

In most cases, you will be required to submit supporting documentation along with your I-90 application. Which documents to send depends on your reason for filing. In general, you should submit legal photocopies of documents and not the originals. Documents you may be required to submit:

  • Photocopy of your current permanent resident card
  • Copy of government-issued ID
  • Copy of the page of your passport showing the I-551 stamp you received upon admission to the United States
  • Copy of a name change document (marriage certificate, divorce decree, etc.)

4. Filing fee

Unless you are exempt from paying the filing fee (see previous section), then you must include the appropriate fee with your application. If filing by mail, send a money order or check made payable to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Do NOT send cash.

5. Signature

You must sign your application. This is a top reason the USCIS rejects applications every year so don’t skip it!4 If you are filing electronically through the USCIS, it will accept your signature through an electronic format. If you are under age 14, your parent or guardian may sign the application on your behalf.