How to Replace or Renew a Green Card
A green card, officially known as a permanent resident card, is proof that its holder is a lawful permanent resident that has been granted immigration benefits, which include permission to live and accept employment in the United States. By losing your green card or letting it expire, you do not surrender these rights. You continue to be a permanent resident. However, traveling abroad or even getting a job can be extremely difficult (if not impossible) without a valid green card. Apply for U.S. citizenship and never have to renew a green card again. Check your eligibility for U.S. citizenship here.
Reasons to Replace or Renew a Green Card
First, determine your need. If you have a green card that is expiring within six months or has already expired, you should file immediately. Likewise, if you need to replace your card, file as soon as possible. It will take approximately 90 days to receive a new green card. Some legitimate reasons that you might need to request a new green card include:
Tip: If you are a conditional permanent resident based on a marriage to a U.S. citizen, do not use I-90 to renew your green card. You must file Form I-751, Petition to Remove the Conditions of Residence.
Prepare Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card
Use Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card, to replace or renew a green card. There are two ways that you can prepare Form I-90.
Tip: It only takes about 15 minutes to renew a green card on CitizenPath.com. If you don’t finish, you can can save your progress and resume later.
Gather Documents and Mail with Form I-90
You will also need to gather specific documents and your payment to submit with Form I-90. If you downloaded the form from USCIS, be sure to download the instructions as well. The instructions will detail the documents that should accompany your green card replacement. If you use CitizenPath, the filing instructions will provide a simple check list of documents for you to include. Regardless of which method you use, you will need to send in a $540 payment for green card renewal. In some cases, the fee for green card replacement is waived. See the pricing tab on the CitizenPath I-90 page for details.
Save Your Records
Wait for a notification of receipt from the USCIS. File this in your records as proof you began the process. USCIS will mail you Form I-797C, Notice of Action. Save this important document. It is the notice you should use as evidence that you filed this application.
Attend Your Biometrics Appointment
Bring your appointment letter with you in addition to some form of photo identification. The biometrics appointment consists of fingerprinting and taking your photo for your green card.
Receive Your New Green Card
Once approved, your new card should arrive in the mail. If you anticipate problems replacing or renewing your green card due to an arrest or immigration violation, please contact an experienced immigration attorney before filing.