What Happens After Filing Form I-90
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 I-90 processing time 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 Form I-90 Application
APPROXIMATELY 1 TO 3 WEEKS AFTER FILING
If your Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card, has been properly filed, USCIS will initially respond by mailing you a letter that confirms receipt of your application. The receipt letter is formally known as Form I-797C, Notice of Action (see example below) and arrives approximately 1-3 weeks after filing. If your Form I-90 has not been properly filed, USCIS may send a Notice of Action to reject the application or may send a Request for Evidence that requests additional items. Either will significantly delay your request. So it’s important to prepare the I-90 correctly and submit all required documents according to the filing instructions.
Appointment Notice for Biometrics
APPROXIMATELY 4 TO 6 WEEKS AFTER FILING
Next, you will receive an appointment notice that assigns your biometrics appointment date, time and location. (The location will generally be the USCIS Application Support Center nearest you.) 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: Generally it’s best to show up only on your scheduled appointment date and time. But if you need to travel abroad before a scheduled USCIS biometrics appointment (or before the appointment has been scheduled), it may be possible to attend your biometric screening early. Learn more in our biometrics appointment FAQs.
APPROXIMATELY 5 TO 8 WEEKS AFTER FILING
The biometrics appointment, also known as a biometrics screening, is generally a short appointment (approximately 30 minutes) so that USCIS can collect your fingerprints, photograph and signature. Your appointment notice will tell you what you need to take to the appointment. Expect to take some form of photo identification to enter the building. If you do not have your green card, USCIS can accept other ID documents such as:
- Passport or national photo identification issued by your country
- Driver’s license
- Military photo identification
- State-issued photo identification card
To learn more about the appointment, read USCIS biometrics appointment.
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
APPROXIMATELY 8 TO 10 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. (Green cards are not mailed to non-U.S. addresses. If you are a permanent resident in commuter status, USCIS will deliver the new green card to the port of entry that you named in your application.) If your application is denied, USCIS will mail you a notice explaining the reasons for the green card renewal 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.
Total Form I-90 Processing Time
After filing Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card, the I-90 processing time can take 8-10 months for many applications. This is an approximation. I-90 processing times 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.