woman with U.S. passport

Green Cards, or Permanent Resident Cards, are physical cards that represent your valid status as a legal permanent resident in the United States. The process to renew a green card is essentially the same for all four different types of green cards. While it is only one form, form I-90 can be extremely confusing, and filling out your forms wrong can see your request for renewal or replacement denied.

Every attempt at filing requires a new filing fee, which can add up quickly. Experienced NYC green card attorneys look over and correct these forms often, and can make sure you are filling out the form correctly and sending in the right evidence to stop you from getting rejected.

Losing your green card, letting it expire, or getting denied for a card renewal does not affect your resident status, or immigration status, and will not put you at risk for being deported, but having a green card that is lost, stolen, damaged, expired, or does not have up to date information can make your life hard.

You won’t be able to travel, get a job, or renew or obtain a license. If you are out of the country at the time of the expiration of your green card, it can be extremely difficult to reenter the United States at a port of entry without an extension sticker for your card.

When Do I Need to Get a New Green Card?

If you have a 10-year unconditional green card you should start the process about 10-12 months before your card expires, due to application processing time. If you have a 2-year conditional green card, for conditional permanent residence, you cannot renew your green card. You must instead apply in the last 90 days of the validity of your green card to have the conditions of residency lifted so that you gain permanent residency status and can receive a 10-year green card.

Renewals aren’t the only reason you might need a new green card. While your current card might still be valid, the physical card may have been lost, stolen, or damaged. You also may need to receive a replacement card if you have had a name change, you may have decided to become an actual resident of the United States if you had previously been living outside of the country for part of the year, your previous card might have not ever arrived, or have arrived with incorrect information.

How Do I Renew My Card?

The renewal process of your green card can feel like it’s dragging on, but thankfully it does not affect your permanent residence status. An expired card can, however, put a roadblock in the way of your career, your schooling, and your travel plans. That’s why it’s important to get started at the right time.

You have two options for filing for your green card renewal application: online or by mail. The steps are slightly different depending on your choice, and filing instructions can be found on the USCIS website. If you do your renewal online you will need to upload copies of all of your evidence onto the USCIS website and fill out the renewal forms online. If sending your 1-90 by mail you will need to print off and fill out form I-90 and mail it in with your evidence.

Do not fill out and submit Form I-90 Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card if you have a 2-year green card for conditional residency and are attempting to have your conditions lifted. A conditional resident will need to file either form I-751 or I-829, dependent on your situation to have your conditions lifted. The form I-90 filing fee is non-refundable, and you should make sure to file the right forms.

Once you have filed you will receive a receipt notice from USCIS letting you know they have received your application, as well as a biometrics appointment notice if needed, or a notice to appear for an interview. If applicable, the biometric service fee is 85$. Biometrics fees are nonrefundable. You may also receive requests for evidence if something is missing from your application. When you have attended any appointments or interviews necessary, you will receive an acceptance or denial of your Form I-90.

What Evidence Do I Need to Renew or Replace My Green Card?

If you are renewing your green card and it is still valid, you will most likely only need to provide a copy of your valid card. If you are seeking a replacement or your green card has already expired, there are several different documents that may be required.

  • Replacement: provide a copy of a valid picture ID, such as a picture of your green card, passport, drivers license, or any other government-issued identification.
  • Name change: provide evidence of the name change, such as your marriage or divorce license, or legal documents from court proving you have changed your name
  • Corrections: your original, incorrect green card as well as your marriage, divorce, or birth certificate.

How Much Does it Cost to Renew or Replace a Green Card?

No matter the reason you need a new card, there is a filing fee associated with your application. The I-90 form filing fee is 455$, though there are a few exceptions, which can be found on the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website. You may be required to attend a biometrics appointment, which costs an additional $85. That makes the full fee for renewing or replacing your green card $540.

The real price to pay for replacements and renewals is the time waiting since the current green card renewal time is around 10-12 months. You can pay your fees either online or by mail. If you pay your I-90 filing fees by mail, this can be done via money order, personal check, cashier’s check, or credit card. Online you are able to pay with debit or credit cards.

We’re Here to Help You Through the Renewal Process

Green card processing times aren’t getting any shorter. The longer you wait, or the more times you have to refile your I-90, the longer it will be until your green card renewal status is where you want it to be. Hiring an experienced New York City immigration attorney can speed up your card renewal timeline, and take the stress off of your shoulders.

The law team at the Law Offices of Jason A. Dennis have experience in all aspects of immigration law, including green card renewals and replacements, and are ready to help you get a valid green card back into your hand.