Green cards officially known as permanent resident cards by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), are issued to immigrants who gain permanent resident status in the U.S. There are few different ways through which a foreign national can get a green card.
Green cards are identification documents that help foreign nationals prove that they are authorized to live and work in the U.S. They will need to keep this document with them at all times because without this card they may not be able to prove their status in the U.S.
While the permanent resident status granted to a foreign national in the U.S. is permanent, the green card issued as proof of the status is not. These cards are good for only a ten year period. It is important to renew this card before it could expire. The ideal time to file an application to renew green card is six months ahead of the card’s expiration date.
The expiration date of the green card can be found on the front side of the card. Biographic information about the card holder is also printed on the green card. The holder’s name, date of birth, sex, country of birth and USCIS number are printed on the front side of the card.
An expired green card becomes an invalid green card. Holding an invalid card would affect the ability of the holder to travel or to find employment in the U.S. So it is mandatory to start the green card renewal process at the right time by filing Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card.
Initially green cards were issued without expiration dates. Those cards are no longer valid. Anyone who holds one such outdated green card without an expiration date should file Form I-90 to get the most recent version of the green card with an expiration date.