When you receive your lawful permanent resident status and green card, you may feel complacent that you have finished the immigration process and forget all about it. However, not keeping up with your green card renewal may end up putting your legal resident status in jeopardy.
Here’s what you need to know in order to maintain your legal status in the United States:
When should you apply for the renewal of your green card?
If you have a green card with a ten-year expiration period, you should apply for its renewal immediately if that time frame has already elapsed. Otherwise, you should apply within 6 months from the point when it is set to expire. Don’t be too eager to apply sooner because you risk USCIS denying your application.
Always be aware of the expiration date of your green card. Particularly in you are planning on traveling abroad. If it happens that you are abroad when your green card expires you may be prevented from reentering the country. Also, not having a valid green card with you may cause you to get charged with a misdemeanor and this could have an impact on your case when the time comes for you to apply for citizenship.
What steps must you follow to renew your green card?
To get started, download and file form I-90 -this is the form you originally used to file for the green card and can also be used to renew it. The form can either be submitted online or by mail.
If submitting electronically:
After creating your online USCIS account and completing the form, you must upload all other required documents such as your current green card. You must then review and sign the application and enclose the government fees.
If submitting by mail:
Download and print form I-90. Make photocopies of all required documentation such as your current green card, review, and sign the application. Include payment for government fees.
What are the fees for renewing a green card in 2020?
The two fees you must pay when renewing a green card are:
- $455 – for form I-90
- $85 – for biometric services
How long should you expect for your green card renewal to take?
These days you can estimate to have to wait around a year or longer to receive your new green card if all goes well with your renewal. Of course, other factors such as your location and the current workload of the USCIS will also play a part in any delays. Keep in mind that this is just a general time frame and every situation varies, some cases taking much longer.
A good tool to use in this case is the USCIS site to check your green card renewal status. By entering the number of your receipt in the “Check your Status” page, you can keep track of what is going on with your application. Form G-1145 is also useful since it allows USCIS to send you a text message or email once your application has been received. Send it along with your application.
If you need help with your green card renewal or any immigration situation, the Florida Immigration Law Counsel can provide you with the legal help you need as well as any information you may need about your green card.