A green card is a very important document because it’s proof of your lawful permanent resident status. It can also function as an identification document, a work authorization document, and even a travel document. Under federal law, a permanent resident over the age of 18 is required to carry with him and have in his personal possession the green card at all times.

It’s clear that not only you are required to keep your green card current and up-to-date under the law, but it also has a plethora of practical benefits of doing so. Whether you are renewing an expiring green card or replacing a lost one the process may be complex or intimidating. This is why we have put together 5 essential tips for green card renewal or replacement in Oklahoma City.

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#1. Don’t wait until the last minute: The processing time for a Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card may vary based on the USCIS resources, caseload, specifics of your case, and several other factors. It’s recommended that you start the renewal process several months before the expiration date listed on the card.

If you are a holder of a 10-year green card, and it is expiring within the next 6 months or has already expired, you may apply for a renewal. However, if you are a 2-year green card holder, you may not file Form I-90 to renew your card. Instead, you must file Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions, during a 90-day period before its expiration.

A 2-year green card holder may still submit Form I-90 to replace a lost green card. But, if the card is set to expire within the next 90 days you must file Form I-751 instead.

#2. Ensure you have the required documents: You must submit several documents to renew or replace your green card, depending on your specific situation. If you have a copy of the lost or expiring card, include it with the application; otherwise, include a copy of a government-issued ID like a passport. The identity document must have your name, date of birth, signature, and picture.

If your name has changed since the issuance of your last card, make sure to include the documentation showing the reasons for the name change, a marriage certificate for example.

#3. Complete and correct filing: A simple error or an omission on your application can cause the USCIS to reject to deny your request. To prevent any complications which can easily cost you needless time and money in the future, make sure your I-90 application is correctly filled and properly submitted.

Make sure you enclose a filing fee payment of $540. I have had clients who submitted their application pro se, reach out to me after USCIS rejected their application – because they just looked up the form filing fee for I-90 on the internet, saw it was $455, and mailed the application with the payment. Although the form fee is only $455, you must also enclose the biometrics fee of $85. If you don’t, USCIS will reject your application for failure to submit the correct fees.

In addition to filling out the application completely and correctly, you must make sure to mail the forms to the correct USCIS address. Failure to mail your application to the correct address may result in unwanted delays or even rejection. In case you decide to complete and submit the form online, you do not have to mail a paper Form I-90.

#4. Biometrics appointment: If you file Form I-90, USCIS will more than likely contact you to attend a biometrics appointment. At the appointment, they will collect your fingerprints, signature, and photograph. Make sure you make a note of the appointment date and mark it on your calendar – missing the appointment will cause an unnecessary delay on your application.

#5. Consult an immigration attorney: The application to renew or replace a green card comprise correct and complete filing of the application, enclosing required documents, and mailing it to the correct USCIS address. A simple error or an omission may cause unnecessary delay, or even worse reject your application. An immigration attorney can review the facts in your case, properly fill and file the application, and make sure it’s mailed out to a proper address with the required documents.

Immigration Attorney OKC: Green Card Lawyer Oklahoma

Whether you seeking to renew to replace your green card, do not leave the outcome to pure chance, let us help you navigate immigration law. We will help you through every step of the way, to ensure that you get the best possible outcome from your application. Vivid Niroula is an immigration attorney based in Oklahoma City, with a solid understanding of U.S. immigration laws. We provide client-focused services, respond quickly and charge affordable fees. You can reach out to us by calling our office at (405) 456-9250, or by filling out the Contact Us form.