Steps to Follow to Renew Your Green Card in a Timely Manner

Green Card is an important piece of document that shows your eligibility to live, work, and travel internationally without any problems. If your Green card expires, you will not be able to use your rights and perks that permanent residents enjoy.

You need to carry your Green Card at all times if you’re over the age of 18. You also need to apply for the renewal of your Green Card every ten years by filing the Form I-90 six months before the expiration date, but remember, you cannot fill the form before the six months of the expiration date.

You have to fill out the application online, and then send the supporting documents to the USCIS.

How to File for Green Card Renewal?

To renew your Green Card, you need to fill out Form I-90 online or take out a print out, fill it and send it to USCIS by mail. If you’re applying online, you need to pay the application fee of $540 immediately after submitting the form using a credit or debit card.

If you’re sending the form through the mail, you need to send additional documents and a cashier’s check or money order made out to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

How to Request for Fee Waiver?

If you cannot afford the Green Card renewal fee, you can request it to be waived for which you will need to fill out Form I-912, along with the Form I-90. It’s up to the discretion of the USCIS to check if you qualify for a fee waiver or not.

What information is required in the Form I-90?

The following information must be included in your completed Form I-90 –

  • Legal name
  • S. address
  • City of residence
  • Parents’ names
  • Date, place, and country of birth
  • Social security number
  • Reason for application (Choose ‘F’ for expiring card and ‘J’ for an old card without expiration date)
  • Class and date of admission
  • Copy of existing green card
  • Consulate or USCIS office that issued the immigrant visa

How Long Does it take to Get the Green Card Renewed?

Once you fill out the application, it will take about four to five months to get a new one.

Here is an example of the timeline and the milestones to expect to know if the process is moving forward –

  • One to Three Weeks – After filing the form, you will receive the Notice of Application or Form I-797C, which is the receipt of the application within one to three weeks. In case of mistakes on the form, you will receive a Notice of Action rejection along with a Request for Evidence that will ask you for additional documentation. Note down the 10-digit receipt number to be able to track your application status.
  • Three to Five Weeks – If your application is accepted, you will receive the biometrics appointment letter and will be required to attend the appointment at an Application Service Center. If you’re unable to attend the appointment on the given date, you need to contact the USCIS and have the appointment date rescheduled as per your convenience.
  • Five to Eight Weeks – You need to attend the biometric screening appointment where USCIS will collect your fingerprints, photograph, and signature. You will be required to bring your biometrics appointment letter and one identification card such as your current green card, passport, military ID, driver’s license, or any other acceptable ID. The whole process usually takes around 30 minutes.
  • After Eight Weeks to Six Months – USCIS will process your application after the biometrics is completed. If your application is approved, you will receive the new card in the mail on your given address. If the application is denied, you will receive a letter explaining the reason for the same.
  • After Six Months – If you have still not received anything after six months from the application, you can inquire about its status from the USCIS. You might be required to attend an interview or take the English language and Civic Knowledge Test before you’re given the green card.

What should you do if your Green Card Renewal Application is rejected?

In the rejection notice, you will be provided with the proper appellate jurisdiction and the applicable deadlines, so that you can correctly file the appeal with the USCIS to reconsider your application.

If you want to renew your expiring green card, you need to ensure that you understand the entire process properly and fill out the form timely and correctly to avoid any unnecessary delays.

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