If you are a lawful permanent resident of the United States, then you have what is commonly referred to as a "green card," a form of identity document. Since the actual green cards expire after ten years, lawful permanent residents need to understand how to renew them. To renew your green card, you will prepare a form from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) called Form I-90. You can file it either online or by mail.
Filling out this form can be confusing, because it is used to request more than just renewing a green card. People whose name has changed, whose green card has been lost, or who never received their green card at all can also use Form I-90.
This article will address only when and how to use the Form I-90 to renew your green card and what to expect from this process.
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 the Form I-90.
As of late 2023, the normal fees to renew a green card are the $455 application fee for Form I-90 plus the $85 biometrics fee, totaling $540.
The fees regularly change, however (usually in an upward direction, as proposed by USCIS for later in 2023). And there are exceptions; some people need not pay the application fee, others need not pay the biometrics fee. If USCIS failed to send you the new card at all, you need not pay either. Always check the USCIS website page for Form I-90 for the latest filing fee information.
As of late 2023, USCIS was taking around 20 months to renew green cards. For the most up-to-date processing times, check the USCIS website.
If USCIS takes longer than the posted processing times, you can submit a case inquiry to see what the problem is.
You can submit the Form I-90 to renew your green card only if your green card has already expired or will expire within the next six months.
For example, if your green card expires in seven months, you cannot yet file the Form I-90 to renew; you must wait another month. But if your green card has already expired, it is not too late to submit the Form I-90. Your application will not be denied simply because your current green card is expired.
Because USCIS typically takes longer than six months to process the Form I-90, it is best to submit the Form I-90 as soon as you are six months away from your green card's expiration.
Form I-90 is an important starting point, but it's not all you'll need to file.
First, to advise USCIS that the point of filing the form is to renew your green card, select box 2.f in the "Reason for Application" section of the Form I-90.
Then be sure to submit a copy of the front and back of your current green card along with the filing fee.
Within two to four weeks, you should receive a receipt from USCIS (a Form I-797C) informing you that USCIS has received your application and begun processing it. You can use the receipt number on this document to check your case statute online.
The USCIS receipt notice also automatically extends your green card validity. You will be expected to show it, along with the actual green card (even if its expired) to prove your status when returning from foreign travel, accepting a new job from a U.S. employer, and so on. In the past, the normal extension of green card validity was 12 months; but in 2022, in light of the long processing times, USCIS extended it to 24 months.
Within one to four weeks of when your receipt arrives, you will receive an ASC Appointment Notice informing you of the time and place that USCIS will take your biometric information. 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.