replace a green card

A green card, also known as a permanent resident card, allows foreign nationals to live and work permanently in the United States. However, it does have an expiration date that requires periodic renewals. It’s important to renew your green card on time to maintain your permanent resident status. You may also need to replace your green card if it’s lost, stolen or damaged. This guide provides key steps for renewing or replacing your green card.

When to Renew Your Green Card

Most green cards are valid for 10 years. You’ll receive a renewal notice from USCIS about 6 months before your card expires. The notice will include instructions on how to renew your card. It’s crucial to apply for renewal during the 6 month window before expiration. Failing to do so can jeopardize your resident status.

You can check your green card’s expiration date printed on the front. If your card will expire in less than 6 months and you haven’t received a renewal notice, contact USCIS immediately. Renewal may be processed up to 12 months ahead of expiration.

How to Renew Your Green Card

To renew your green card, you must file Form I-90. The current filing fee is $455. Here are the key steps:

– Review the I-90 instructions and assemble all required documents. This includes recent photos, proof of U.S. residence, and copies of your green card.

– Complete Form I-90. You can submit electronically on USCIS’s website or print and mail. Make sure all information is current and accurate.

– Submit biometrics at your local USCIS Application Support Center. This includes fingerprinting and having new photos taken. You’ll receive an ASC appointment notice after filing.

– Attend your green card interview, if required. USCIS may call you in for an interview before approving renewal. Be prepared to answer questions about your background, residence, employment, etc.

– Wait for your new card. Processing time is typically 6-12 months. You can check your application status online using the receipt number. Continue using your current card until the renewed one arrives.

When to Replace a Green Card

You must replace your green card if it’s lost, stolen or substantially damaged. Report lost or stolen cards to USCIS immediately and apply for a replacement by filing Form I-90. The steps are very similar to renewing.

You’ll also have to replace your card after major changes such as a legal name change, change in marital status, or updated photos (for minors). File Form I-90 within 30 days after any significant change to your green card information.

Maintaining Permanent Resident Status

Keep the following tips in mind to make sure your green card remains valid:

– Renew your card several months before the expiration date.

– Notify USCIS of any address changes or travel longer than 6 months.

– Carry your green card at all times as proof of permanent resident status.

– Avoid remaining outside the U.S. for more than 1 year at a time.

– File Form I-90 to replace lost, stolen or damaged cards as soon as possible.

Following the proper renewal and replacement procedures will ensure your permanent resident status remains active and avoid lapses in your benefits. Check with USCIS if you have any doubts about maintaining your green card.


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