A green card shows that the owner is legally authorized to work and live in the United States of America. Green cards expire after ten years of use. After expiry, you need to renew it to ensure you receive the benefits of working and living in the USA.
How to renew a green card
When your green card expires, you must file a renewal application. You should fill out form I-90. The process can be carried out either online or by mail. Afterward, gather your supporting documents and make the necessary payments. Lastly, apply and wait to get a new green card.
When renewing the green card, provide the expired one or son-to-expire to show that you qualify for the renewal process. After the process, you will get a notification from USCIS to inform you that your application has been accepted.
The mail includes the receipt number. If your applications were on or after 26th September, you would receive a notice from USCIS implying that they have extended your green card validity for 24 months after the expiry date. USCIS posts all notifications on your USCIS online account. If you do not have an existing account, USCIS will help you create one and take you through the steps to access it.
When to renew a green card
Any person with a green card in the U.S. should apply for renewal immediately after notice that the card is expired. You can also apply six months before the expiry date. However, ensure that you file for an application early enough. Early application can lead to renewal denial, and the fees paid are kept by USCIS.
Be careful with the expiry date so that you can file for renewal on time, especially if you are not in the USA and are planning to fly back. You are prohibited from re-entering the USA or getting a job with an expired green card. Suppose the green card expires, and you never applied for renewal before leaving the USA.
In that case, you can visit the closest U.S. port of entry, international USCIS field office, or U.S. consulate and alert them about the situation before applying for renewal if your green card expires in the next six months after returning to the U.S., and file for renewal immediately.
How much does green card renewal cost?
Currently, green card renewal costs $540. The amount includes a $455 filing fee, and $85 covers the biometrics fee, that is, your fingerprints, photo, and signature.
To make payments follow these steps.
If your application is online, complete filing the I-90 form, and afterward, you are directed to pay.gov, where you pay electronically via your credit card.
If your application is by mail, you can make payment via money order, personal check, or cashier’s check that is directly made t ‘The U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Having an expired green card does not mean you should not live and work in the U.S. unless you commit a criminal offense. Having an expired green card means you must get the latest version since the design changes after a while.