If you are a regular permanent resident whose green card has a validity of 10 years, don’t wait until the last month before going through the renewal process. Although your permanent resident status will not be revoked through ‘expiration’, if you renew less than six months before your visa is expired, you risk your chances of getting a job under a new employer, obtaining your well-deserved professional license, practicing your profession, purchasing a new home, getting a new driver’s license and re-entering the United States. Below are several reasons to convince you why the half-a-year period is the best time to renew your status.
Renewing your card is a straightforward process
A majority of green card holders put off renewals until the last minute because of the notion that filing once again is stressful. In contrast, renewals involve only a few steps. It begins by filling up an application form, collecting supporting documentation, paying the required fees, and submitting your complete application. What some permanent residents fail to realize is that you can actually seek help from an immigration attorney to smoothen this part for you.
Once you’ve gone through the 4-step process, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will notify you that they have received your renewal acceptance. The notification arrives by mail and contains a receipt number you can use to check your renewal application status online. As part of the renewal process, you will also receive a schedule for your biometrics appointment where the immigration office will take your fingerprints, photograph, and signatures.
Expired green cards make you ineligible for US Citizenship
If your goal is to change your immigration status from permanent resident to U.S. citizen, then it would benefit you to have a clean record as a green card holder. Moreover, having an expired green card automatically disqualifies you from applying for citizenship. Remember, your green card is your ticket to legally reside, work, and become a citizen in the United States.
Applying too early or too late have higher chances for denial
Every potential immigrant or aspiring permanent resident’s fear is the same: denial of applications. This is another reason why following the ‘perfect timing’ for renewal benefits you. When your card application is too early, it is more likely for Immigration Services to deny your request.
The green card is your proof of eligibility for a renewal
You don’t need to go through another complicated process when you decide to renew since both an expired green card and an about-to-expire card makes you eligible for renewal. Yes, holders of expired green card holders can still go through the renewing process but miss the opportunities outlined above.
Green card processing can take up to a year.
Although some applicants can renew their permanent residency in just a few months, it can still take up to 12 months. If you plan to travel in a foreign country and back to the US, but your card will expire while you are outside of the United States, renewing early prevents potential roadblocks to re-entry. There are, however, exemptions to this rule. If you are a legal permanent resident applying for a job but still waiting for your green card to arrive, the US Citizenship Office may issue an “Alien Documentation, Identification and Telecommunications” stamp to prove your immigrant status.
Convinced to renew your status as a green card holder? Contact Diener Law’s immigration attorneys to learn more about the government requirements you’ll need or to check your eligibility and recommended timeline for green card renewal.
Afraid to go try applying for U.S. Citizenship or naturalization? Let our immigration lawyers give you the confidence you need by providing the necessary information to check your eligibility and be guided from the time you file your application until you obtain your citizenship.
Are you looking for help in citizenship and immigration services? We, at Diener Law, handle various concerns such as adjustment of status, waiver, petitioning, different kinds of Visas such as immigrant visa, nonimmigrant visa, diversity visa, fiance visa, tourist visa, work visa, among other immigration documents.
Call us today for your case evaluation.