How do I know if I need to renew my Green Card?

If you were issued your Green Card about 10 years ago and there is an expiration date on the front of your card, you should check the expiration date to see when your card needs to be renewed.

How soon should I apply to renew my expiring Green Card?

You can apply up to six months prior to the expiration date of your card (indicated on the front of the card). However, there is no need to rush to apply for a new card too far in advance since you will be issued temporary proof of status the same day you apply in-person for your new Green Card.

What should I do if my Green Card has already expired? Will the USCIS penalize me for renewing my card after it expired?

If your Green Card has already expired, you should apply to renew your card as soon as possible. Those renewing expired cards will not be penalized.

Where do I need to go to renew my Green Card?

Effective June 20, 2000, most Green Card renewal applicants will have the convenience of one- -stop, walk-in service at their local USCIS Application Support Centers (ASCs) (see exceptions on chapter 3). There are more than 120 Application Support Centers throughout the country—about 50 located within an existing U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services District or Sub-Office and -the remaining located in separate facilities to enhance accessibility to customers. You should call the USCIS National Customer Service Center toll-free telephone line 1-800-375-5283 for information on how and where to apply.

Does everyone need to renew their green cards?

No. Renewals are for applicants with expiring/expired 10-year green cards. All other applicants filling for a new green card must apply at their local USCIS District or Sub-Office not at an ASC. How can I obtain temporary proof of status while I wait to receive my new Green Card? When you come in to renew your Green Card, USCIS will review your application package on-the- spot for completeness and accuracy. If all is in order, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will attach a sticker to your expiring/expired Green Card to extend the validity of the card, and return it to you to use as temporary proof of status. The attached sticker will have two hole- punches through the appropriate month and year, indicating how long this temporary proof of status will be valid. When your application is approved, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will mail you your new Green Card that will be valid for 10 years.

How long will it be before I receive my new Green Card?

Currently, it takes about five months (national average processing time) to receive your new Green Card. However, you will be issued temporary proof of your lawful permanent resident status when you go to renew your card.

What if my temporary proof of status expires before I receive my new Green Card?

If your temporary proof of status expires before you receive your new Green Card, you should go to your local USCIS District or Sub-Office (not the Application Support Center). After verifying the status of your case and determining that your application is approvable, the local U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services District or Sub-Office will issue you new temporary documentation.

Why does the USCIS put 10-year expiration dates on Green Cards?

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services began implementing 10-year expiration dates on Green Cards (Form 1-551, Alien Registration Receipt Card) in 1989 to allow the agency to update photo identification and implement new card technologies that will increase the card's resistance to counterfeiting and tampering.

Do I need to renew my Green Card if it was issued between 1979 and 1988 and does not have an expiration date?

No. Green Cards issued between 1979 and 1988 do not have expiration dates and do not need to be renewed at this time. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will develop an orderly plan for replacing these cards at a future time. (Note: If you obtained your Green Card before your 14th birthday and are now over 14, and your Green Card does not have an expiration date on it, you will still need to get a new card. You will need to go to your local U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services District or Sub-Office -not an Application Support Center - and File a Form 1-90, "Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card." However, you will not need to pay the $190 application fee. You will only need to pay the $70 fingerprinting fee.)

Will I lose my permanent resident status if I do not renew my Green Card?

No. you will not lose your permanent resident status if you do not renew your Green Card - permanent resident status will not expire or change. However, you are required by law to carry evidence of your status/registration (e.g. a valid, un-expired Green Card or the temporary proof of status you receive at the time of filing to renew your Green Card.).

What will happen if I don't renew my expiring Green Card?

If you fail to renew your expiring card, you may experience difficulties in obtaining employment, benefits, and re-entry into the United States from abroad. When you submit your renewal application in-person, you will receive temporary evidence of your lawful permanent resident status.

What will happen if I present an expired Green Card when I try to reenter the United States after traveling abroad, or when I obtain a new job, or when I apply for entitlement benefits?

What if I cannot afford the application fee, or I am ill or disabled and cannot go to my local U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office?

If you cannot afford the fee you may request a fee waiver according to standard procedures. If you are unable to appear in person because you are confined due to advanced age or physical disability, you may contact your local USCIS office to request accommodations.

What should I do if I've already applied for naturalization and my card is expiring? Do I still need to renew my Green Card and pay the $190 renewal application fee?

If you have applied for naturalization more than six months prior to your card's expiration you do not need to apply to renew your Green Card. If you are in the process of obtaining new employment you may use other documents listed on the Form 1-9 (Employment Eligibility Verification Form) for employment verification purposes. However, if you need a new Green Card for employment or benefits verification purposes, you should apply and pay the $190 filing fee to renew your expiring Green Card.

What if I applied for naturalization less than six months before my card expires, or I choose to apply for naturalization instead of applying to renew my Green Card?

If you have applied for naturalization less than six months prior to your card's expiration, you will still need to apply and pay the $190 filing fee to renew your expiring Green Card and ensure that you have evidence of your legal status.