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How to Renew Your Green Card

green card is officially known as a form of identity document given to a lawful permanent resident of the United States. Permanent residence is a type of immigrant visa that gives legal rights to foreign nationals to live and work lawfully in the United States permanently. Green card holders can also become U.S. citizens after three or five years of permanent residence status. Green card applications are approved by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Since a green card is only valid for ten years, a lawful permanent resident needs to know and understand the renewal process. A trusted North Carolina & California immigration attorney can help you renew your green card under the guidelines issued by the USCIS. The article will give you an overview of the green card renewal process by answering the following questions:

  1. When Do I Need to Renew My Green Card?
  2. How Do I Renew My Green Card?
  3. What Happens After I Submit Form I-90 to USCIS?
  4. How Much Does It Cost to Renew a Green Card?
  5. Can Green Card Fees Be Waived?
  6. How to Get Green Card Fees Waived?

When Do I Need to Renew My Green Card?

Once you obtain lawful permanent resident status, you do not lose your status simply because your card expired. An expired green card means that you just need to renew it to be able to get the updated version. However, without a valid green card, it will be difficult for you to prove your status as a lawful permanent resident, look for a new job, or re-enter the U.S. after your international travel. In addition, the law requires you to carry valid evidence of your immigration status; and an expired green card is not considered valid evidence.

It is important to be mindful of the expiration date of your green card so you can prepare the renewal requirements ahead of time. In this case, it is advisable to initiate the renewal process no later than 6 months before the expiration of your green card via USCIS Form I-90.

How Do I Renew My Green Card?

To renew your green card, you need to fill out Form I-90 or Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card from the USCIS. You must submit a copy of your expiring or expired green card along with this form.

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You can file it either online or by mail. Keep in mind that if you are a conditional resident seeking to make your green card permanent after two years, you must follow a different process; do not use Form I-90.

Filling out this form might be confusing because it is used not just for renewing a green card. It is also used by people whose name has changed, whose green card has been lost, or who never received their green card. When you fill out the form, you need to provide the following information:

  • Name (including any name change with supporting evidence)
  • Address in the United States
  • Birthdate and birthplace
  • Alien registration number (“A-number”)
  • Social Security number
  • Parents’ names
  • City of residence (where you applied for an immigrant visa or adjustment of status)
  • Date of admission (see your green card for the date)
  • Class of admission (type of green card received
  • Reason for application
  • Consulate where your immigrant visa was issued or USCIS office where status was adjusted

What Happens After I Submit Form I-90 to USCIS?

Within two to four weeks after submitting your Form I-90, you will receive a receipt from the USCIS (Form I-797C) informing you that they have received your application and begun processing it. You may check your case statute online using the receipt number written on the document.

Afterward, you will receive an Appointment Notice from USCIS Application Support Center (ASC) informing you about the schedule of your fingerprinting or obtaining biometric information. They’ll check your record to make sure you haven’t committed any crimes; otherwise, you’ll be deported from the U.S. Once you have attended your ASC appointment, USCIS will continue processing your application. If USCIS approves it, you will receive your new green card in the mail. Approximately, the USCIS is taking between 8.5 and 11.5 months to renew green cards.

How Much Does It Cost to Renew a Green Card?

Most immigration-related processes come with processing fees. The green card filing fee is $540, the Form I-90 filing fee is $455, and the biometrics fee is $85. The value may be subject to change since the immigration laws are continuously changing. It is advisable to consult a reliable North Carolina & California immigration attorney to know about the latest updates regarding the green card renewal process and filing fees.

Can Green Card Fees Be Waived?

The green card renewal application requires you to pay filing and biometric fees. But the USCIS allows you to request a fee waiver if you’re unable to pay. Green card fees can be waived as long as you meet the eligibility requirements. The USCIS provides forms by which you can request a full fee waiver.

To qualify for the fee waiver, you must be able to demonstrate to the USCIS that you’re going through financial hardship at the time of filing. This includes unexpected situations such as a sudden loss of a job, accumulating medical expenses, or any unfortunate situation caused by natural calamities.

In addition, your annual household income must be below 150% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. Your annual income must be less than $19,410 in your federal income tax return. When calculating the household income, you need to consider the total household size and income of the household members.

How to Get Green Card Fees Waived

To request a fee waiver, you need to submit Form I-912 or the Request for Fee Waiver. This form is a document that is categorized into the following parts:

  • The Basis for Your Request
  • Personal Information of the Requestor
  • Applications and Petitions for Which You Are Requesting a Fee Waiver
  • Means-Tested Benefits
  • Income at or Below 150 Percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines
  • Financial Hardship
  • The Statements, Contact Information, Certifications, and Signatures of the Requestor, Family Member, and the Interpreter

The Role of an Immigration Lawyer

Immigration laws are constantly changing with time. The immigration rules might change now and then. If you have questions related to the green card renewal process, do not hesitate to consult our competent North Carolina & California immigration attorneys at Diener Law. Our California and North Carolina immigration law firm will guide you throughout the whole renewal process and ensure that you will comply with the latest immigration laws.

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