How to Renew Your Green Card

Most people don’t know how to renew their Green Card because it only needs to be renewed once every ten years. The renewal process is the same regardless of how you received your permanent resident status (e.g., through marriage, employment, or even via the Diversity Visa Program)

In this article, we’ll go over how to renew your Green Card, along with when and why.

How Long Does a Green Card Last?

A Green Card is valid for 10 years from the date it is originally issued. It’s worth noting that your permanent resident status doesn’t expire after 10 years – it’s just the card that needs renewing.

Think of it as a passport or form of government ID. Not having a valid document doesn’t mean you’re no longer a citizen. We renew these documents mainly to update our photos and information. The same is true for a Green Card.

Having an expired Green Card won’t result in fines or penalties. However, it’ll become a problem if you change jobs, plan to travel or apply for anything that requires proof of residency. As such, it makes sense always to have a valid Green Card.

When to Renew a Green Card

USCIS advises that you begin your renewal process at least 6 months before your current card is due to expire. While it can take up to a year to process a renewal, this ensures there’s minimal overlap between issue dates and that you shouldn’t have to live with an expired card for too long.

You can also renew your Green Card after it expires. But, as mentioned, it’s best to catch it before it reaches this point so you’re not too inconvenienced.

How to Renew Your Green Card

The process for renewing a Green Card is pretty easy and, in most cases, won’t require extra information beyond what you submitted the first time. Here’s how to renew your Green Card both online or offline paper submission.

Online Renewal

To renew your Green Card, all you need to do is create an online account on the USCIS website. They provide a simple guide on their website, and their system will walk you through the entire process.

You’ll also receive real-time updates on your case. If necessary, you can submit new evidence through the online portal. Renewing your Green Card online is much easier than other methods.

If you obtained your Green Card through the Diversity Visa Program and used the services of the US GREEN CARD OFFICE, you have the benefit of unlimited support and assistance from our immigration team. Our team is available to help you 365 days a year, so please don’t hesitate to contact one of our immigration agents if you have any questions or concerns about renewing your Green Card. Just submit a support ticket, and we will get back to you within 24 hours

Paper Renewal

If you want to know how to renew your Green Card via the mail, you’ll need to start by downloading a copy of Form I-90. This is the Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card, so is suitable for expiring cards or lost or stolen cards.

You’ll need to fill the form in, the same as you did with your first application. Then, send it off to the relevant address and pay the filing fee. Unsurprisingly, doing it this way is a lot slower than doing it online.

If you happen to be outside the U.S. at the time your residency status expires, you will need to follow a slightly different process to renew your Green Card. Before filing any forms, contact the nearest US Consulate, USCIS office or port of entry. This is not necessary if you have already filed prior to your departure from the US.

Fees and Biometrics

As of 2024, the cost of renewing a Green Card is $540. This consists of a $455 filing fee and $85 for your biometrics. It can be paid either online, by credit card, or check.

The biometrics associated with your Green Card are about the only thing you actually need to replace. It shouldn’t be any different from the first time: book an appointment, have your photo taken and fingerprints scanned, and then be issued a new card.

You might need to submit new information if your current Green Card has been lost or stolen. Also, USCIS might ask for proof of any criminal convictions, which is one of the few reasons why it might deny a Green Card renewal. However, this is only for fairly serious (federal) crimes, so you’ll probably already know whether this is a problem.

Green Card Renewal vs. Citizenship

As you may already know, you can apply for US citizenship after five years as a permanent resident. So, is it better to know how to renew your Green Card or how to apply for citizenship?

There are two things worth considering. First is the cost. At $725, citizenship might sound more expensive, but it’s a one-time fee. The second is dual nationality. Some countries don’t allow it, meaning you must remain a permanent resident. Make sure you look into this before beginning the citizenship application process.

Final Thoughts on How to Renew Your Green Card

If it’s getting close to the time to renew your Green Card, it’s best to look over the renewal application and gather any necessary information, so you can complete the process before your card expires.

If you’re still considering getting your first Green Card, make sure you consider the Diversity Visa Program, also known as the Green Card Program. It involves much less paperwork than the other options and can be a way in for you and your family. Right here at the US GREEN CARD OFFICE, you can sign up for the next DV program and start chasing your own American dream.

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