March 24, 2011 § 1 Comment
A United States permanent resident card (green card) is normally valid for ten years. On its expiry, you have to get it renewed by filing Form I-90, Application for green card replacement with the USCIS. Though those not renewing expired green cards will not be penalized, always ensure that you renew your card at the earliest. Form I-90 should also be filed if you want to change any biographic information on your green card i.e if your name has changed because of marriage. Form I-90 is also used when you lose your green card and need a replacement. However, you will not lose your permanent resident status if you do not renew your green card as permanent resident status does not expire.
Per US laws, you have to carry evidence of your current status (a valid, unexpired green card or temporary passport stamp). When you do not renew your expired or expiring card, you may find it difficult obtaining employment, getting other benefits and also while re-entering the US from abroad. If you are traveling , always apply for your new green card before you travel and have with you the temporary documentation you received. If you try re-entering the US with an expired green card, you might experience delay during the inspections process at the port of entry,
Your employers will also not accept an expired green card to verify employment authorization for new hires. You can use other documents that you will find on the Form I-9 (Employment eligibility verification form) such as social security card and driver’s license or have a temporary evidence of status (I-551 stamp) or even the receipt notice for your Form I-90, Application to replace permanent resident card.
After you have sent the completed I-90 application to the USCIS, you will receive an Application Receipt Notice with an application receipt number within 30 days of having sent your application. This notice is a proof that the USCIS received your application. You can monitor the progress of your application with this receipt number. You also will be informed about the dates for fingerprinting and subsequently, the date for your interview with instructions related to the supporting documents you are supposed to bring. On the whole, the green card renewal process approximately takes three months.
The advantage of having a valid green card is that, if eligible you can file the citizenship application, Form N-400 and enjoy the rights of a US citizen.