Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card is the green card renewal and replacement form. Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status is used to adjust one’s status to permanent resident status.
A person currently living in the U.S. on a nonimmigrant visa and who is the beneficiary of an immigrant petition, can apply to adjust their status to that of a permanent resident. This applies to people for whom immigrant visa priority dates are current and visa numbers are available. Such applicants can file Form I-485 with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to get a green card. They can go through this process while in the U.S. and need not go to their home countries to complete the process. Successful applicants will be issued green cards. Only those who maintain valid nonimmigrant status in the U.S. can go through adjustment of status.
Foreign nationals living in the U.S. and being sponsored by their husband or wife, parents or children who are U.S. citizens, can file the I-485 application concurrently with Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative. Those living abroad cannot go through this process. Those living abroad will need to file applications for immigrant visas with U.S. consulates abroad once visa numbers are available.
While Form I-485 helps one to get a green card, Form I-90 will help permanent residents to keep their green cards up to date. All green card holders will need to make sure their green cards are valid at all times. That is because green cards are not permanent like their permanent resident status. Green cards are valid for only ten years. Since their cards will expire every ten years, permanent residents will need to remember to file Form I-90 to renew their cards. Though their status will not expire even if their cards expire, it is mandatory to renew green cards and hold unexpired cards at all times.
The I-90 application doesn’t just help permanent residents renew their green cards but it also helps them replace their cards. Permanent residents who lose their green cards, whose cards are damaged or whose cards have incorrect information, can file the same form to get new green cards. So the Form I-90 solves dual purpose – it will help legal residents to renew and to replace their green cards.