Renew a Green Card
How to Apply To Renew a Green Card
If you are a permanent resident whose 10-year green card has expired or will expire within the next 6 months, you may begin the renewal process by:
How to Renew a Green Card If You Are Outside the United States
If you are outside the United States and your green card will expire within 6 months (but you will return within 1 year of your departure from the United States and before the card expires), you should file for your renewal card as soon as you return to the United States.
If you are outside of the United States when the card expires and you have not applied for the renewal card prior to your departure, you should contact the nearest U.S. Consulate, USCIS office, or U.S. port of entry before attempting to file Form I-90 for a renewal green card.
When to Renew a Green Card
You should renew your green card if you are a permanent resident with a Form I-551 valid for 10 years and the card is either expired or will expire within the next 6 months.
Note: If you are a conditional resident and your status is expiring, these instructions do not apply to you. In that case, you must use Form I-751, Petition to Remove the Conditions on Residence, to apply to remove the conditions on your permanent resident status. For more information, see our Conditional Permanent Residence webpage.
How to Find Out The Status Of Your Application
You may check the status of your application online at My Case Status. Please remember that an e-filed receipt number may not be available through “My Case Status” for 72 hours. If you have immigration-related questions, you may call the USCIS National Customer Service Center (NCSC) at 1-800-375-5283. You should be prepared to provide the USCIS staff with specific information about your application, such as your receipt number, Alien Registration Number, name and date of birth.
How to Appeal If Your Application Is Denied
If your application for renewing your green card is denied, you will receive a letter that will tell you why the application was denied. You will not be allowed to appeal a negative decision. However, you may submit a motion to reopen or a motion to reconsider with the same office that made the unfavorable decision. By filing such a motion, you may ask the USCIS office to reexamine or reconsider its decision.
A motion to reopen must state the new facts that you would provide if your case is reopened and must include appropriate documentary evidence. A motion to reconsider must establish that the decision to deny your application was based on incorrect application of law or immigration policy, and further establish that the decision was incorrect based on the evidence in the file at the time the decision was made. For more information, see “How Do I Appeal the Denial of Petition or Application?” page.
If you need advice, see the Finding Legal Advice webpage. You may contact the USCIS District Office near your home for a list of organizations that may be able to assist you in preparing your application. To locate the office serving your area, see Find a USCIS Office.
Versions of Green Card That Are No Longer Valid
If you have a previous version of the alien registration card (e.g., USCIS Form AR-3, Form AR-103 or Form I-151), you must replace it with a current green card.
What the Law Says
Section 264 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) states, "Every alien in the United States . . . shall be issued a certificate of alien registration or an alien registration receipt card in such form and manner and at such time as shall be prescribed under regulations . . .." It also says, "Every alien, eighteen years of age and over, shall at all times carry with him and have in his personal possession any certificate of alien registration or alien registration receipt card issued to him . . .. Any alien who fails to comply with [these provisions] shall be guilty of a misdemeanor ..." The specific requirements and procedures for applying to renew an expiring green card are contained in the Code of Federal Regulations [CFR] at 8 CFR section 264.5.
Last Reviewed/Updated: 03/23/2011
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