Immigration Topics Explained:

Green Card Renewal

Renewing an Expired or Expiring Green Card

What is the green card renewal process?

Officially known as a Permanent Resident Card, your green card is physical proof of your right to live and work in the United States. It's an essential document for accepting employment, getting a home loan, and even renewing a driver's license. It's also vital for re-entering the United States after a trip abroad. An expired green card will generally cause a delay, may require the payment of a steep re-entry fee, and can potentially create more significant immigration problems. In fact, you are legally required to carry proof of your permanent resident status with you if you are age 18 or older. Generally, you should renew a green card if your card is already expired or will expire within the next six months. Once you've submitted the green card renewal application, it will likely take several months to get a new card. However, there is a solution to help you get temporary proof of your permanent resident status quickly.

Green Card Renewal Application

How do I renew a green card?

Permanent residents use Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card, for green card renewal. File the application if your card is expired or will expire within the next six months. Other valid reasons to use this application include:

  • Your card was lost, stolen or destroyed
  • Your card was issued but never received
  • Your name or other biographic information has been legally changed
  • Your card was mutilated
  • You have a prior edition of the Alien Registration Card
  • Your card has incorrect data
  • You have reached your 14th birthday and are registering as required

Generally, you must be physically present in the United States to renew a green card. If you're outside the United States, you can likely use an expired green card to board a transportation carrier to return to the United States as long as your departure date was less than one year ago. Check with your airline or other carrier. If they will not board you, you may need to file Form I-131A, Application for Carrier Documentation, to obtain temporary travel documentation for the purpose of boarding a transportation carrier and returning to the United States.

Do not use Form I-90 to renew a conditional green card. Certain individuals who obtained permanent residence through marriage may have a two-year conditional green card. You must file Form I-751, Petition to Remove the Conditions on Residence.

Steps to Extend the Validity of Your Expired Green Card

Can I get a temporary green card?

Our customers generally report shorter processing times, but typical Form I-90 processing times exceed 8 months. You may need more urgent proof of permanent resident status to travel abroad, renew a driver’s license, get a new job, or apply for a mortgage. In these cases, you can get temporary proof. It's not a temporary green card, but it is valid evidence of of your status and is the equivalent of a card.


Prepare and File Form I-90

For green card renewal, you'll need to file Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card, and a $540 filing fee with USCIS. You may download the application directly from and prepare it on your own. Or use CitizenPath's Green Card Renewal/Replacement Package to make it easy. We provide a low-cost service that helps you prepare the application in about 15 minutes. The service helps to eliminate common I-90 errors, delays and rejections. We even guarantee USCIS approval.


Get Your Receipt Notice

USCIS is automatically extending the validity of green cards for lawful permanent residents who file Form I-90 correctly. Approximately 2 to 4 weeks after filing Form I-90, USCIS will mail you Form I-797C, Notice of Action. This "receipt notice" is an important document. It's proof that USCIS has accepted your Form I-90 application. It is also a 24-month extension of the validity of the green card.

The receipt notice will say, “This notice provides evidence of your lawful permanent resident status for 24 months from the expiration date on your Form I-551, Permanent Resident Card (also known as a Green Card). You remain authorized to work and travel. This notice, presented with your expired Permanent Resident Card, is evidence of your status and work authorization.”

If you've lost your card or it expired more than two years ago, USCIS does not issue a temporary card. However, you can request an I-551 stamp in your valid, unexpired passport. The stamp is the equivalent of a green card. You may use it for work or travel as well.


Use Your NOA and Expired Card Together

The Notice of Action (receipt notice) is your temporary evidence until you receive the new card. Present the receipt notice together with an expired green card as evidence of permanent resident status. You'll be able to use the letter and expired card as a valid green card for activities such as accepting U.S. employment or to re-enter the United States.

If your green card is lost, stolen or missing, you'll need to file Form I-90. But the process to obtain temporary proof of status with a green card replacement is slightly different.

Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card

Use Form I-90 (Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card) to renew a green card that is expired or is already expired. Each year, USCIS rejects or denies thousands of I-90 applications. Therefore, it's important to get it right.

each year an average of
I-90 applications are filed*
out of these
get rejected*
and another
get denied*

How CitizenPath Helps You with Green Card Renewal

Where can I get a renewal green card?

CitizenPath's affordable, online service makes it easy to prepare Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card. Designed by immigration lawyers, the Green Card Renewal/Replacement Package helps you eliminate the common errors that create delays, rejections and even denials. That's because the service alerts you when your answer to a question may be a problem. You'll also get customized filing instructions based on your situation. It's a powerful, do-it-yourself tool that puts you in control. And we've got your back -- CitizenPath provides live customer support and provides a money-back guarantee that USCIS will approve the application. Get started >>

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Once you're completely satisfied, you’ll be able to print your I-90 and customized filing instructions.

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