For immigrants living in the United States, allowing their permanent residence cards to expire at the end of their 10-year limit can represent major challenges, from problems re-entering the country to snags in attempts to help their relatives become U.S. residents.
And that’s beside the fact that U.S. immigration regulations require all lawful permanent residents to carry their valid, unexpired “green cards” at all times.
That’s why U.S. officials are urging legal residents to start the process of renewing their permanent residence cards within six months of the expiration date.
And now the renewal application to replace the green card can be completed online, promising to expedite the process.
“Do you have a #GreenCard?” the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) wrote recently in its Twitter account. “If it expires in the next 6 months, you may be eligible to renew it using Form I-90 online. It’s fast, secure and convenient.”
Do you have a #GreenCard? Be sure to check the expiration date. If it expires in the next 6 months, you may be eligible to renew it using Form I-90 online. It’s fast, secure, and convenient. #USCISOnlineTools
Get started today: https://t.co/DKRBEJdrtN pic.twitter.com/CsMtYoxg3m
— USCIS (@USCIS) November 27, 2019
A few days later, the Department of Homeland Security agency posted another tweet inviting U.S. lawful permanent residents to apply for a renewal online.
Do you need to renew your #GreenCard? You may be able to renew it online. Create your #USCIS online account where you can file Form I-90 using your computer or mobile device & have instant access to updates about your case. Visit: https://t.co/DKRBEJdrtN #USCISOnlineTools pic.twitter.com/k0mIE9amLw
— USCIS (@USCIS) December 4, 2019
How to renew a green card online
The first step is to create a personal USCIS account on the Internet at https://myaccount.uscis.dhs.gov.
The account is a convenient and safe way to check on the status of requests and petitions awaiting USCIS decisions.
USCIS’ online tools generally allow users to submit forms and also to provide evidence supporting the requests, reply to requests for more evidence, verify the status of petitions and pay fees with credit and debit cards.
After establishing the personal account, immigrants can submit Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card.
The cost of filing the application online is $450, which covers the $365 fee for submitting the form and $85 for biometric services fee.
Who can replace a green card online
According to USCIS instructions, immigrants can submit the I-90 Form online in the following cases:
▪ If the green card was lost, stolen, destroyed or mutilated.
▪ If the name or biographical information on the card has changed
▪ If the green card has expired or will expire within six months
▪ If the holder has commuter status that allows daily travel for work
▪ If the holder automatically converted to permanent resident status
▪ If the holder has a prior edition of the Alien Registration Card
Who is not eligible to renew a green card online
According to USCIS regulations, the following immigrants are not eligible to e-file Form I-90:
▪ Those who have temporary green cards obtained through marriage and want to remove the condition on the permanent resident status using Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence
▪ Those who cannot afford to pay the required fees and request a fee waiver based on a demonstrated inability to pay
▪ Those who never received a green card, or received one with incorrect information due to a USCIS administrative error
What happens after applying for the renewal
▪ After making the payments, USCIS will immediately send receipts to applicants
▪ USCIS electronic confirmations will indicate the postal address where supporting documentation must be sent. If the documents are in a foreign language, the agency requires certified English translations
▪ USCIS will later send applicants a letter with a Notice of Action, I-797-C, confirming receipt of the applications. It will also send them dates for providing biometric data such as fingerprints at a local Application Support Center (ASC)
▪ USCIS officials will review the applications and rule on on them
For more details, carefully follow the government’s Instructions for Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card
Daniel Shoer Roth is a journalist covering immigration law who does not offer legal advice or individual assistance to applicants. Follow him on Twitter @DanielShoerRoth. The contents of this story do not constitute legal advice.
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