Your green card is your proof that you are eligible to live and work in the United States. However, permanent resident status is not the same as citizenship. You need to pay close attention to when your green card expires to renew it. You should replace a lost permanent residence card as soon as possible.
To complicate matters not all green cards have expiry dates on the front. Most are valid for 10 years. If you were granted conditional permanent resident status, your card is only valid for two years. You should know how to renew or replace a green card.
It’s vital to ensure that your green card is up to date. Without a valid green card, you may struggle to prove you are a permanent resident and you may be denied re-entry to the United States if you travel. Your ability to work could be impacted.
Information on how to renew your green card is provided by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
When Should You Renew a Green Card?
Apply to renew your green card as soon as you realize it has expired or within six months of expiry. Conditional residents on a 2-year green card must file a petition to remove the residency conditions on their green cards 90 days before it expires.
If your conditional status was based on your marriage, you should file Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence. If you fail to file within 90 days of expiration, USCIS may automatically terminate your status and send you a Notice to Appear.
USCIS states conditional permanent resident children may be included on their parent’s petition if they received their status on the same day, or within 90 days of the time, their parent received conditional status. Otherwise, you must file your own petition for removal of conditions with your stepparent
Applicants may file for the removal of conditions without their stepparents or spouses in some instances. These include the death of a spouse or a stepparent, the termination of a marriage through divorce or annulment, or extreme cruelty or violence by a spouse.
If your conditional status is based on being an entrepreneur or an investor, you should file Form I-829, Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions on Permanent Residence.
Failure to petition to remove conditions on a 2-year green card before it expires may jeopardize your permanent residence status.
When Should You Replace a Green Card?
You should apply to replace your green card if it has been stolen, lost, or damaged or if any information on the card changed. If you gained permanent residency before your 14th birthday, you must replace your card when you become 14.
If you need to renew or replace a green card, you must complete Form I-90. You can e-file your I-90 via the USCIS website. You should not file I-90 to remove conditions on a 2-year conditional permanent resident card.
Failure to renew or replace a permanent residence card can be costly. You should not assume all your immigration paperwork is behind you once you received a green card. Please contact our immigration attorneys for help in renewing or replacing a green card.
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