Top Five Green Card Renewal Questions

When should a green card be renewed?

Permanent resident cards (green cards) are valid for just ten years. So the right time to apply for renewal is around 5 to 6 months from the date on which the card will expire. Applications for green card renewal must not be filed before six months from the date of expiry, which is too early. Such applications may be rejected and returned to the applicant.  However, an immigrant’s permanent resident status will not be lost if green card renewal is not done. But the law requires all immigrants to hold valid resident cards at all times.

Read on to know more about the risks of holding expired green cards.

How much is the green card renewal cost?

The fee for green card renewal is $540, which includes the $85 biometrics fee and the $455 application filing fee.

Fee waivers are available to those who cannot afford the fee for Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card. Such applicants can file Form I-912, Request for Fee Waiver, along with their application for green card renewal.

Can conditional permanent residents renew their green cards using Form I-90?

Green cards with conditions are not renewable. Conditional card holders can get their lost or mutilated green cards replaced by filing Form I-90. But if their cards are set to expire, they will have to get the conditions on their cards removed by filing Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence and not file Form I-90.

How much time does it take to get my green card renewed?

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) takes around three to five months to process and decide on green card renewal applications.

But this is not the case with applications that may be filed with errors. Mistakes in applications can be costly and it will result in delays. It is wise to prepare Form I-90 online with step by step instructions to avoid mistakes and delays.

Can permanent residents avoid the green card renewal process?

Yes, if they apply for U.S. citizenship. Those who have already been legal permanent residents for five years or more and who may be eligible for U.S. citizenship, can apply for citizenship instead of renewing their green cards. Citizenship is not like the green card status that requires the holder to go through the renewal process every decade. U.S. citizenship status is for life and does not need renewal.

Green card holders can check if they are eligible and apply for U.S. citizenship by filing Form N-400, Application for Naturalization.