There’s now a more convenient way to renew your green card. But it’s not for everyone

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.

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“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.”

Read more: Here’s a fast and easy way for foreign visitors to extend their stay in the U.S.

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.

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.

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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

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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

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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

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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

Read more: Here’s what it takes for an immigrant to get a green card — and not lose it

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.

Read more about legal and immigration issues in Spanish at AccesoMiami.com

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