With a Green Card in hand, you are afforded many benefits and virtually all of the same privileges as a full United States citizen. Because Green Cards are issued for a period of 10 years, and because assimilation into American society can be almost seamless, that time can fly by. But to keep enjoying those privileges, and if you have not applied to become a naturalized U.S. citizen during that 10-year period, you will need to make sure you renew your Green Card, or you’ll run the risk of non-compliance, and you could face deportation.
It should be noted that your status as a lawful permanent resident does not expire when your Green Card does, but you could face several hurdles when it comes to getting a job or trying to re-enter the United States after traveling outside the country.
Overall, renewal is a fairly simple process. It’s best to start that process about six months before your current Green Card is set to expire, giving ample time for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to process your application. You can either file a renewal on line or through the mail by submitting a Form I-90, Application to Replace a Permanent Resident Card. The form will ask for basic information such as your name and address, Social Security number, the class of your Green Card and where you originally applied for your Green Card, among other things. You will need to pay renewal fees, including a biometrics fee for fingerprinting, and submit the form along with a copy of your old Green Card for processing.
Check Your Eligibility
If you have questions at any point during the renewal process, you can call the USCIS National Customer Service Center at 1-800-375-5283.
If your renewal application is approved, you will get a letter from USCIS directing you to a local USCIS Application Support Center where you will undergo your biometrics appointment. After your new fingerprints are on record, they will be checked to make sure you haven’t committed any crimes or can be deported from the United States for other possible reasons. Unless there are other unusual circumstances surrounding your application, you should receive a new Green Card in the mail shortly thereafter.
If, for any reason, your application is denied, you will receive a letter stating the reason. There are no appeals for denials, but you can submit a motion to reopen your case or reconsider it, as long as you can provide additional facts and supporting documents that may shed new light on your particular situation.