A green card is a critical document for a lawful permanent resident, as it serves as an employment authorization document, legal immigration status, identification, travel document, and more. A green card is evidence of your permanent resident status, however, your status as a lawful permanent resident does not expire simply because the green card has expired. If the green card is expired, you are still a permanent resident. Nonetheless, you must keep an eye out for the expiration date of your green card, so you can renew it before it expires. This article covers the situation where your green card is expiring soon or has already expired.

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Before we jump into the discussion of your green card renewal, it’s important to identify whether you have a 10-year green card or a 2-year conditional green card. The renewal process for a 10-year green card is different than that of a 2-year conditional green card.

How do I renew my 10-year green card? – in Oklahoma City

If your 10-year green card has already expired or is expiring within the next six months, you must renew it. Just because your green card has expired doesn’t mean that you have lost your permanent resident status, however, that’s not a good reason to not renew your green card.

Step 1: To renew your green card, you must file Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card. Form I-90 can be filed online or you can mail a completed paper version of the form. Regardless of whichever method you decide to go with, to properly file the application you must pay the form fee and biometric fee, a total of $540. It’s important to make sure that you include all necessary documents including a copy of your current green card and a copy of your passport or any other document that can help you establish your identity. Failure to correctly complete the application or to submit necessary documents may result in the rejection of your application by the USCIS.

Step 2: After you have successfully submitted your application along with the correct fees and necessary documents, the USCIS will reach out to you with a receipt notice confirming that they have received and accepted your application. This receipt notice from the USCIS is also called the notice of action, Form I-797, and usually arrives within 2 to 4 weeks after successfully filing Form I-90. If you failed to correctly complete the form or to include the required documents with the application, the USCIS will send a notice of action rejecting your application or requesting for evidence. Incorrect or an incomplete application will very likely waste your time and money, therefore it’s imperative that you complete the application correctly on the first attempt.

If you have a pending I-90 application and your green card has expired, you may use the notice of action, Form I-797, as evidence of your permanent resident status for 24 months from the green card expiration date. You may show the application receipt notices along with the expired green card as valid evidence of a continued permanent resident status. This information is correct as of the date this article is written, please consult an immigration attorney or the USCIS to confirm the most recent rule.

Step 3: Within a few weeks of the submission of your green card renewal application, you may be notified by the USCIS of a biometric appointment. During the appointment, you must submit your photographs, signatures, and fingerprint. In most cases, the appointment is just a simple process and is put in place to ensure that the applicant does not have a serious criminal record or a history of an immigration violation. Make sure you know the date, time, and location of the biometric appointment. If the appointment letter requests that you bring certain documents with you to the appointment, make sure you have the documents with you before you show up for the appointment.

Step 4: If you correctly and completely submitted your green card renewal application and showed up to the biometric appointment, your new card will then likely be issued and mailed to you. Every case is different, and the time it takes to receive your new green card will vary on the facts of your case. However, in most cases with no RFE (Request for Evidence), it takes anywhere from 6 to 9 months from the submission of your I-90 to the time you receive your green card.

How do I renew my 2-year green card? – in Oklahoma City

If you are a conditional green card holder with a green card that is only valid for 2 years from the date of its issuance, you may not file Form I-90 to renew your green card. If your green card was awarded to you based on your marriage to a US citizen, and at the time you were married for less than 2 years, you were awarded a conditional green card, valid only for 2 years. Or, if your green card is based on the approval in the EB-5 employment-based category, you were awarded a conditional green card, valid only for 2 years. A conditional green card cannot be renewed, and therefore the cardholder must file an application with the USCIS to request to remove the condition. If the conditional green card is based on marriage, the applicant must file Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence. Similarly, if the conditional green card is based on the EB-5 employment-based category, the applicant must file Form I-829, Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions.

Form I-751 and I-829 must be filed during the 90 days before the expiration of the conditional green card. Failure to complete the application to remove conditions during that window of time will cause you to lose your permanent resident status and you may have to leave the United States.

OKC Immigration Attorney: Green Card Lawyer in Oklahoma City

If you need help renewing your green card, or would like to ensure that your application is completed correctly, please contact the law office of Vivid Niroula. Mr. Niroula is an immigration lawyer based in Oklahoma City with a solid understanding of US Immigration Laws. You can reach us by calling (405) 456-9250, or by filling out the Contact Us Form.