After receiving a green card, it feels great to know that you have a way to prove your permanent resident status. When you apply for employment, you will use your Green Card to prove that you can live and work in the US. This joyous feeling will take you far, but beware!
Many people with Green Cards in the US do not know that their card expires, or how many years may pass before it expires. If you intend to get a driver’s license, change jobs, or use the card as a way of proving your permanent residency, it may come as a shock to find out that your Green Card is no longer valid. After that, you may face a difficult journey to renew your Green Card for proving your employment eligibility or permanent resident status.
Before this happens to you, take the time to familiarize yourself with how Green Card expiration works. Keep reading for answers to commonly asked questions about renewing your Permanent Resident Card.
When will my Green Card expire?
There are a few answers to this question. Some Green Cards have no expiration date. Most Green Cards are valid for 10 years. In other cases, such as if you have conditional permanent resident status, the card is valid for 2 years.
When should I renew my green card?
In most cases you can begin the Green Card renewal process as early as 6 months before your card expires. There are also other situations that may require you to renew your Green Card before its expiration date. Some of these Green Card replacement situations may include Green Card loss, theft, or damage.
What do I do if my Green Card has already expired?
If your Green Card has already expired, you will need to fill in and file USCIS Form I-90, an Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card. Information for how you can file to renew your Green Card can be found on the USCIS website.
Are the rules different if I have conditional permanent resident status?
Yes. If your Green Card is only valid for 2 years because you have conditional permanent resident status, your process will be different. To renew your Green Card you will need to file a petition to remove the conditions before your card expires. You can file this petition as early as 90 days before your card’s expiration. Another way your process will be different is that you will use more or different forms to secure your new Green Card.
Whether you have permanent resident status that is conditional or not, it is incredibly important to renew your Green Card as early as possible. As a lawful permanent resident you must have a valid, unexpired green card with you at all times. For people with conditional permanent resident status, it is crucial to renew on time, because if your card expires before going through the renewal process, your permanent resident status could be lost.
If you find any of this to be confusing, you are not the only one. An attorney who specializes in immigration law and handles many green card renewal cases can help you navigate the process, whatever your situation may be. Contact our office today for a free consultation.