A foreigner who wishes to immigrate and apply for a green card must first be familiar with relevant immigration law. While applying for a green card is, in itself, tedious, note that the green card process doesn’t end there. Immigration lawyers often get several inquiries about getting a green card renewed.

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) office is the government agency processing the green card application of an immigrant. When qualifying to get a green card, a foreign national must fill out various immigration forms and prepare supporting documents.

Any alien with a permanent resident status can opt to renew his permanent residence card after expiration. If you are a green card holder and you need to apply for a green card renewal, below are four tips to help you prepare:

1) Promptly prepare USCIS forms relevant to this immigration process.

File a Form I-90 with the USCIS office exactly six months before your green card expires. Provide your name, address, A-Number, and other required personal information. An immigration attorney can help you in answering the administrative questions in the form.

Submit the required immigration paperwork either through mail or online. Prepare for the $455 filing fee and $85 biometrics appointment fee. In one to three weeks, a receipt shall be sent to the green card holder applying for renewal.

2) Prepare well for your biometrics appointment 

Green Card RenewalYour schedule, which would usually be four to eight weeks after submitting your application, will be sent to you by the USCIS. Your notice of appointment and a valid passport or identification card must be brought to the field office of the FBI. Have your fingerprint, photo ID, and other necessary biometric data taken, as required by immigration laws.

3) Plan while keeping in mind USCIS processing times.

Renewing your green card would take around 12 or 13 months after the required paperwork is submitted, following usual processing times. This would mean that even if you accomplish the necessary USCIS forms and renew your permanent resident card exactly six months before expiration, you will not have a valid green card in possession for around five to seven months.

4) Avoid doing certain things during the processing time for your card renewal.

While your immigration status will not change and you are in no way less of a permanent resident, try to not switch jobs, travel abroad, or visit your home country during this period of time. When you exit the United States, there is a chance that proving residency and reentry could be a challenge. For five to seven months, it might be difficult to prove lawful permanent resident status without renewed green cards. 

An immigration law firm specializing in visa application, permanent residency, consular processing, adjustment of status, family-based immigration, petitioning, citizenship, travel documents, or anything related to American immigration would make the above a lot less complicated for you.

Consult with a reliable immigration lawyer for your green card application and renewal. Call us at Diener Law.