What Happens After Filing I-90,
Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card
Knowing that your green card has expired (or worse yet it was lost/stolen) can be an unsettling feeling. You’re probably anxious to know what happens after filing Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card, and how long it will take to receive your new green card. Although the steps that take place are fairly consistent, the time frame can vary based on the USCIS case load, the USCIS office where you filed, and your ability to properly file an accurately prepared Form I-90 without errors or omissions.
The following list details the basic steps of the process for most people. There is an approximate amount of time provided. However, this time frame can vary.
Receipt of Application (2-3 weeks after filing)
If your Form I-90, Application for Replace Permanent Resident Card, has been properly filed, USCIS will initially respond by sending you a receipt letter that confirms receipt of your application. The receipt letter is formally known as Form I-797C, Notice of Action (see example below). It is proof that you have started the green card renewal/replacement process.
Tip: Save this important letter. It contains your 10-digit receipt number. You can use this receipt number to check the status of your case on the USCIS website. If you didn’t receive a Notice of Action, you can make a Case Inquiry.
Appointment Notice for Biometrics (3-5 weeks after filing)
Next, you will receive an appointment notice that will include your biometrics appointment date, time and location. USCIS requires applicants to be fingerprinted for the purpose of conducting a security clearance and criminal background check. Don’t be alarmed — All applicants must have background checks.
Tip: If you are 75 years old or older at the time of filing, you are exempted from the fingerprint requirements, but are subject to all other background checks. If you didn’t receive your biometrics appointment notice, you can make a Case Inquiry.
Biometrics Appointment (5-8 weeks after filing)
The biometrics appointment, also known as a biometrics screening, is generally a short appointment (15-30 minutes) so that USCIS can collect your fingerprints, photograph and signature. Your appointment notice will tell you what you need to bring. You will be required to bring photo identification. Typically, acceptable documents include:
Tip: If you think you might have a criminal record, contact an immigration lawyer before going to a biometrics appointment. Some crimes will make you ineligible for immigration benefits. A lawyer can request a background check before USCIS does and deal with it as necessary.
Receive Your New Green Card in the Mail (4-5 months after filing)
After completing the biometrics appointment, USCIS will process your application to replace/renew your green card. If your application is approved, your green card will be mailed to you. If your application is denied, USCIS will mail you a notice explaining the reasons for the denial.
Tip: You must notify USCIS if you change your address after filing your Form I-90 within 10 days of your relocation by filing Form AR-11, Alien’s Change of Address. You also must call USCIS at 1-800-375-5283 to change the address with your pending I-90 application. If you did not receive your green card in the mail, you can make a Case Inquiry.
After filing Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card, the entire process can take anywhere from 4-5 months. This is an approximation. It may be shorter for some and longer for others. In some cases, USCIS will make a request for additional information or schedule an interview. Don’t forget — you can check your case status online with your receipt number. The USCIS website also lists normal processing times. If you believe that your case is outside the normal processing times, you can make a Case Inquiry.