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Reasons Why you Need to Renew your Green Card

20th September 2010
By Paul Anderson in Immigration Law
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A permanent resident is the one who is granted authorization to live and work permanently in the United States. As a proof of the permanent resident status the individual is given an identification or an authorization card which is commonly called as Green Card.

A Green Card is said to be valid for ten years and must be renewed before the expiration date. Certain green cards will not have an expiration date. Although these green cards do not have an expiration date, the law requires all cards to be updated to the new version. The latest green cards have an expiration date and are required to be renewed every ten years as this will make the USCIS to improve the card with additional features like updating the photographs to avoid fraud.

If the Green Card is obtained through marriage to a US Citizen or a permanent resident, it is called as Conditional Green Card. The Conditional Green Card is valid for two years and must be renewed before the conditional resident status expires. To remove the conditions on the green card the form I 751 is used.

How to renew your green card

Permanent Residents whose Green Cards have already expired or will expire shortly must renew the green card. If one fails to renew the Green Card he may experience difficulties in employment, be barred from reentry into United States until a new card is obtained, restricted from other benefits, and is said to be as Out of Status. Although the person with an expired green card will not lose his permanent residence status, he is required by the law to hold a valid green card.

Reasons to Renew Green Card:

An individual must adopt the green card renewal process , if

the green card was valid for 10 years and is expiring or has expired

he/she has been a permanent resident of the United States and now taken up Commuter status;

he/she has been in a Commuter status and now taking up residence in the U.S.;

the status has been converted automatically to a permanent resident status;

he/she has an old edition of the card;

Green Card Renewal process:

To renew the green card the form I90 ( Application to Replace / Renew Green Card) must be filed by the applicant. The completed applications must be sent to USCIS along with the supporting documents and relevant fees.

Every green card renewal application must be included with the required supporting documents such as,

Photocopies of the front and back of the Expired or Expiring Green Card
Personal Identification document such as a State Driver's license card or a valid passport

Once the application for green card renewal has been received by the USCIS, they will check if all the required evidence provided are correct and complete. USCIS may then request for more information and might require the applicants to appear for an interview . If the Green Card Renewal application is approved, the new Green Card will be mailed to the applicant. If the application is denied, USICS will send in writing the reason for rejection of the application.
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