When to Renew a Green Card
You don’t want to file your green card renewal too early or too late. In fact, both ways can cause problems for permanent residents. Instead, file your renewal application just in time.
When is the right time to renew a green card?
A green card, formally known as a permanent resident card, is proof of your permanent resident status in the United States. It also serves as a valid identification document and proof that you are eligible to live and work in the United States. It’s important to keep your card up-to-date. Without a valid card, it may be difficult for you to prove that you are a permanent resident, and this could also affect your ability to reenter the U.S., accept employment, and take care of other important responsibilities.
CitizenPath recommends that our clients prepare Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card, 6 months before the expiration date on their existing card. We recommend that clients mail the application to USCIS 6 months (but no less than 5 months) before the expiration date. Here’s why:
If You Renew a Green Card Too Late
Generally it takes about 10-12 months to process a green card renewal, but it can take longer. If a person’s green card expires, that individual could be without a valid proof of permanent resident status. The individual will not lose permanent resident status as a result of an expired green card, but the individual will not have proof required for important events such as:
- Employment: A green card provides proof of your right to work in the U.S. Employers are required to check.
- Travel: Valid, unexpired proof of permanent residence is required to re-enter the United States after traveling abroad.
- Driver’s License: Most states will not renew a driver’s license without a valid, unexpired green card.
- Home Mortgage: Home lenders require proof of permanent residence when you purchase a home or re-finance.
For more details about these issues, read our related article — Expired Green Card Creates 4 Big Problems. Avoid the hassle. Enter your expiration date, and you’ll get an email reminder when it’s time to renew your green card.
If You Renew a Green Card Too Early
USCIS has indicated that your application may be rejected and returned to you if you file Form I-90 for a renewal more than 6 months prior the expiration date. This will cost you valuable time and money.
Therefore, your best course is to file Form I-90 in a 30-day window that is 5-6 months prior to the expiration date of your current green card. Need help? CitizenPath’s online process will help you complete your Form I-90 in about 15 minutes. Try it now.
How CitizenPath Helps You Renew an Expiring or Expired Green Card
CitizenPath helps you prepare Form I-90 by providing step-by-step instructions that save you time and avoid costly delays. CitizenPath even provides alerts if you answer a question in a way that might be a problem. It only takes about 15 minutes, and you’ll be able to file Form I-90 to renew your green card today. Plus, we guarantee that USCIS will accept your application.
We’re going to ask you a few questions to make sure you’re eligible and preparing the correct form.
Prepare Form I-90
We’ll guide you through the I-90 application using simple language and step-by-step instructions.
Download, Print and File
Once you’re completely satisfied, you’ll be able to print your I-90 and customized filing instructions.