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Are you currently Required to Renew Your Alien Card?

14th March 2011
By Aditya Mittal in Immigration Law
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"Green Card" refers towards the official card issued from the U.S. government to those that grow to be lawful permanent residents (immigrants) as evidence of their authorization to stay and work within the United States. It really is officially referred to as Form I-551, the Permanent Resident Card (in the past called the Alien Registration Receipt Card). It is frequently known as the Green Card not since of its current colour, but simply because with the unique color with the card numerous years ago.

The "Green Card" is proof of the status like a lawful permanent resident having a appropriate to live and work permanently within the United States, so long as you do not violate any immigration laws. A "Green Card" instantly communicates to legislation enforcement officials and United States employers the person's authorized status in accordance with United States immigration laws.

In August 1989, the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS - now USCIS) commenced issuing "Green Cards" with a 10-year expiration date and necessary permanent residents to renew their Green Cards every single 10 years. Additionally, a "Green Card" that is certainly also old, with out-of-date pictures or is broken, can not successfully serve as proof of current immigration status, registration, identity, and employment authorization or re-entry documents. Current Green Cards have an expiration date stated to the front of the card and expire every single ten (10) years. The USCIS puts a 10-year expiration date on "Green Cards" for Permanent Residents, not Conditional Residents (2-year expiration date), to protect against counterfeiting and tampering and also to guarantee that these people who may possibly now be inadmissible, removable or deportable are introduced towards the interest of USCIS.


Green Card holders will not always lose authorized status while in the United States if their card expires; nevertheless, permanent residents are required by legislation to carry evidence of their current legal status constantly (e.g. a legitimate, unexpired Green Card or even the temporary proof of status you get on the time of submitting to renew your Green Card.) If permanent residents fail to renew an expired or expiring card, they could expertise troubles in acquiring employment, public advantages and re-entry to the United States soon after traveling overseas. You will need to be aware that USCIS won't penalize applicants for renewing their "Green Card" following it has expired, but candidates should apply to renew their "Green Cards" as quickly as possible. Additionally, under no circumstances ought to a permanent resident travel abroad with an expired card except he or she has evidence that a renewal for that Green Card was filed using the USCIS and is ready to display proof upon entry back again in to the U.S.


"Green Cards" issued in between 1979 and 1988 which did not state a specific expiration date didn't be renewed simply because there was no expiration date. Lawful permanent residents who maintain these permanent resident cards with no expiration date might replace their cards now, but there is certainly currently no requirement to complete so. You should note that these cards are now among 17 and 30 years old and are probably damaged and with outdated images.

On August 22, 2007, the USCIS announced a proposed rule that all lawful permanent residents with cards without expiration date should apply and receive new "Green Cards." This proposed rule in no way has an effect on the current validity of those permanent resident cards. Permanent residents who possess these cards may carry on to utilize them as evidence of permanent residency when traveling, when seeking employment, and at any time such proof is required. Nonetheless, the USCIS is seeking to terminate "Green Cards" devoid of an expiration date. USCIS believes that the replacement of those cards is important towards the safety of your immigration method. The adjust would permit USCIS to problem much more safe, tamper-resistant permanent resident cards, update cardholder information, conduct background checks, and electronically retailer applicants' fingerprint and photographic information so as to supply far better evidence from the identity of the cardholders.

To renew your Green Card, you have to total and submit a Form I-90 "Application to Replace a Permanent Resident Card." Form I-90 applications to renew "Green Cards" might be submitted by mail or on the internet in the US Immigration Organization site (www.usaimmigrationsupport.com). All candidates are essential to supply current biographic and biometric (images and fingerprint) information. If an applicant can't afford the required USCIS filing fee, she or he might request a price waiver based on regular methods. The particular needs and procedures for applying to renew an expiring permanent resident card are set forth while in the Code of Federal Rules [CFR] at 8 CFR 264.five.

Currently, processing times for your adjudication of I-90 applications, devoid of any immigration issues, is usually 6-12 weeks. Nevertheless, processing occasions can vary for every applicant based on certain details. If you are outside of the United States on the time of the card's expiration and you have not applied for that renewal card before your departure, you must get hold of the nearest American Consulate or Embassy, USCIS workplace, or Port of Entry prior to trying to return for the United States or filing Form I-90 to get a renewal I-551 card. The USCIS encourages qualified residents to also contemplate applying for naturalization.

If a "Green Card" holder has had any criminal convictions soon after getting lawful status or has any authorized issues, it really is very important to look for authorized guidance before submitting for green card renewal or Naturalization. Many applicants learn the implications of applying for renewal or Naturalization only following they have been positioned in Removal (Deportation) Proceedings.
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