Last month, we provided a basic overview of the lawful Permanent Resident – Green Card process, covering different avenues of eligibility, and what kind of steps, questions, and paperwork that need to be filed. After you receive your Green Card- for most cases not including conditional cards, it will be valid for 10 years. Then, it’s time for the next step: Green Card renewal!

 

NOTE: This all only applies to the 10 Year Green Card. If you have a 2 Year Green Card, this does not apply.

Congratulations! You have been living and working as a lawful permanent resident for the past 10 years! You are one of over 12 million immigrants who have a Green Card. A full decade has passed. Now, to retain your legal status, it is now time to renew your Green Card

When to Start the Green Card Renewal Process

If your Green Card has already expired, then you need to get started right away! The best time to do so is when your card is due to expire within the next six months.

IF you’re a conditional resident you have another path. You need to file a Petition to Remove the Conditions on Residence (Form I-751) to work towards getting your resident status set without conditions. You can find Form I-751 here.

What Paperwork to Fill Out for Green Card Renewal

So, it’s within six months of your Green Card expiring, it’s time to get the ball rolling. Great! To file for renewal, you will need to either e-file or file a hard copy of the I-90 Form. The e-file can be found here.

If you choose to file a paper application, you can follow more instructions here, but to put it briefly, you will need to print out the form, fill it out, and mail it to either:

If mailing with USPS:

USCIS

P.O. Box 21262

Phoenix, AZ 85036

 

Or

If using FedEx, UPS, or DHL:

 

USCIS

Attention: I-90

1820 E. Skyharbor, Circle S, Floor 1

Suite 100

Phoenix, AZ 85034

It is import to check if the mailing addresses have changed at USCIS.gov before mailing in your forms.

 

What Does it Cost to Renew Your Green Card?

There is a filing fee for filing the I-90 form. According to the USCIS website, the fee is currently $455. There is also an additional $85 that may be required for biometric services to be administered to go along with the paperwork.

As always, in both the I-90 form and the biometric screening, make sure all the information you provide is true, accurate, and complete. Applicants can be denied or rejected for even minor errors.

 

Filing Tips

When it comes to filing your form, be sure to complete every section of the form. If any fields are left blank you risk having the form rejected. If Family Name, Date of Birth, or Mailing Address are missing, the renewal will certainly be rejected. Be sure to sign your form as well.

Why Would My I-90 Be Denied?

We have hinted at this possible outcome a few times now. Unfortunately, it is possible that while you have had and enjoyed your Green Card for ten years, that your application for renewal may be denied. Here are 3 ways that might come about.

Reason 1: Committing a Crime

Certain crimes are a deportable offense. Unfortunately, there isn’t a handy, simple chart of crimes to check which will do so. If you have a conviction, either felony or misdemeanor, it would be wise to get a consultation from legal counsel before filling out and sending in your I-90.

Reason 2: Ordered Removed

If you have been ordered removed from the US since receiving your permanent residence status, it is very likely you will have your Green Card renewal denied. Unsure what ‘ordered removed’ means? There are very specific instances for this. Either a judge ordered you removed or deported, you signed a stipulated removal order, or you were apprehended at the border and the immigration officials there decided to file Expedited Removal paperwork.

Reason 3: Lying on Renewal Form

Filling out an I-90 is serious business, if you knowingly submit false information, and lie to the USCIS officers is illegal and will end up with your I-90 being denied.

So Now What?

When it comes down to it, it’s better to play it safe than sorry. If you are concerned about any of these reasons influencing your ability to get your Green Card renewed, you should give us a call to figure out the process.

At Apfel & Associates, we are trained, skilled, and maybe most importantly, we are experienced professionals who can help you with every step of the immigration process, from that first application to renewing years later. With a team of globally minded, experienced professionals, we are here to help our clients in immigration, trademark, and corporate law.