How to Renew a Green Card

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What Is a Green Card?

A green card is a permanent resident visa that allows a foreign-born individual to reside in the United States. Form I-551 is the official name for the permanent resident card or green card. The permanent resident card is commonly referred to as a "green card" because the color of the card is green. Possession of a green card is proof that you are eligible to live and work in the United States despite not being an American citizen.

When Do I Need to Renew My Green Card?

A green card can contain no expiration date, though the vast majority of green cards do. An individual with conditional permanent resident status is given a green card that is valid for two years. When that two-year green card is within 90 days of expiring, that individual can then apply for permanent resident status. Permanent resident green cards expire after ten years. To obtain a permanent resident card, you will need to file a petition to remove the conditions from your conditional permanent resident status and then wait for your green card priority date.

If your green card is very old and does not contain an expiration date, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recommends that you apply to renew it to ensure it remains valid.

How Do I Renew My Green Card?

If you have a two-year conditional permanent resident card, you will need to petition to remove your conditions. You must file your petition within 90 days of your card’s expiration date.

If you received conditional status due to a family member or spouse, you need to file Form I-751, which is the petition to remove conditions on residence. You will not need to submit any other forms. If the form is approved, you will be mailed a permanent residence card that will last for ten years.

If you received conditional status due to being an investor or entrepreneur, you will need to fill out a different form for condition removal. Form I-829 covers the petition by an entrepreneur to remove conditions.

If you are already a permanent resident with a green card but your green card expires soon, you will need to apply to renew your green card. Form I-90 is the application to replace permanent resident card form. Once the application has been submitted, you can track its status on the USCIS website.

Do I Need a Lawyer to Renew My Green Card?

Permanent green cards are not easy to get. In addition, the process can be incredibly complex. An immigration attorney can help you determine if you are eligible to renew your green card and can assist you with U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement regulations.

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Last Modified: 08-26-2015 10:03 AM PDT

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