A Comprehensive Guide to Green Card Renewal

A Green Card, officially known as a Permanent Resident Card, is a critical document for anyone who wishes to live and work permanently in the United States. However, it is important to note that Green Cards are not permanent in their validity. They typically need to be renewed every 10 years. If you’re approaching your renewal date or have already reached it, understanding the renewal process is essential to maintaining your legal status in the U.S. This guide will walk you through the steps involved in renewing your Green Card.

Understanding the Importance of Green Card Renewal

Renewing your Green Card on time is crucial for several reasons:

  • Legal Status: A valid Green Card is proof of your legal status in the United States. It is necessary for employment, travel, and re-entry into the country.
  • Employment Verification: Employers require a valid Green Card to verify your eligibility to work in the U.S.
  • Travel Documentation: An expired Green Card can cause complications when re-entering the U.S. after traveling abroad.
  • Identification Purposes: It serves as a government-issued identification document.

When to Renew Your Green Card

You should begin the renewal process within six months of your Green Card’s expiration date. This ensures you have ample time to complete the renewal process and avoid any lapses in your legal status. If your Green Card has already expired, you should apply for renewal as soon as possible.

Steps to Renew Your Green Card

1. Complete Form I-90

The first step in the renewal process is to complete Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card. You can do this online through the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website or by mail.

Online Application:

  • Create a USCIS online account.
  • Complete the Form I-90 and submit it electronically.
  • Upload required documents, such as a copy of your expired or soon-to-expire Green Card.
  • Pay the application fee online.

Mail Application:

  • Download and complete Form I-90 from the USCIS website.
  • Gather required documents, including a copy of your expired or soon-to-expire Green Card.
  • Mail the completed form and supporting documents to the address listed in the form instructions.
  • Include a check or money order for the application fee.

2. Pay the Application Fee

As of now, the fee for filing Form I-90 is $540, which includes a $455 application fee and an $85 biometric services fee. Be sure to check the USCIS website for the most current fee information, as these fees can change.

3. Attend a Biometrics Appointment

After submitting your application, USCIS will schedule a biometrics appointment for you. During this appointment, they will take your fingerprints, photograph, and signature. This information is used for background checks and to update your biometric data in USCIS records.

4. Track Your Application Status

You can track the status of your Green Card renewal application through your USCIS online account or by using the USCIS Case Status Online tool. It’s important to keep an eye on your application status to ensure there are no unexpected delays.

5. Receive Your New Green Card

Once your application is approved, USCIS will mail your new Green Card to the address you provided. The new card will be valid for another 10 years. If you need to change your address during the renewal process, make sure to notify USCIS to avoid any delivery issues.

What to Do If Your Green Card is Lost, Stolen, or Damaged

If your Green Card is lost, stolen, or damaged, you should still use Form I-90 to request a replacement. In addition to the usual application steps, you may need to provide additional documentation or evidence explaining the loss or damage.

Traveling While Your Green Card Renewal is Pending

If you need to travel abroad while your Green Card renewal application is pending, carry your expired Green Card along with your Form I-90 receipt notice (Form I-797). This receipt notice serves as proof that you have applied for renewal and can help facilitate your re-entry into the U.S.


Renewing your Green Card is a crucial task that should be addressed promptly to maintain your legal status in the United States. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can navigate the renewal process with confidence. Remember to complete Form I-90, pay the required fees, attend your biometrics appointment, and keep track of your application status. Staying proactive and informed will ensure that you continue to enjoy the benefits and opportunities that come with being a permanent resident of the U.S.

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