An Updated Green Card is the Law

Most green card holders have their green cards for ten years – the length of time a green card is valid before it needs to be renewed. However, quite a lot can change while you have your green card for a decade. You may get married, divorced, change your name, change addresses, and otherwise make changes in your life that can make your green card outdated. It is important to provide the USCIS with a green card update when changes take place and to replace your green card when name change, change of address, and other changes take place. Green card changes ensure that your green card is always up-to-date and accurate. If you fail to update your green card, the outdated information on your green card can make it hard for you to prove your permanent residence in the United States.

In order to replace a green card due to a name change, change of address, or other information, you need to complete USCIS I-90 (Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card). You will need to provide confirmation or documentation supporting the change. For example, if you have changed your name due to divorce, marriage, or through a court procedure, you’ll need to provide copies of your marriage certificate, divorce documentation, or court documents showing that your name has been officially changed.

Keep in mind, too, that you may need to replace your green card for other reasons rather than just green card changes. If your green card is lost, stolen, or mutilated, you’ll also need to replace your green card in order to ensure that you have the correct documentation to prove your status in the United States. Once your green card expires, you will need to submit a USCIS immigration form to get a new green card.

It is hard to overemphasize the importance of reporting green card changes and making green card updates. It is a crime not to tell the USCIS through a written notice about any change of address if you are a green card holder, for example. If you are a green card holder, you must report to this change within 10 days or you may face being charged with a misdemeanor for your failure to do so. Not updating your green card can also make it hard to secure work, to prove your permanent residency, or to enter and leave the US. Failing to keep your green card updated can also result in criminal charges or loss of status, so do check your green card not only for its expiration date but also for its accuracy. Replace and update your green card as needed.

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