“Renewal” versus “Removal” When it Comes to Green Cards

Like your passport, driver’s license, or other government-issued identification, your I-551 (“Green Card”) will have an expiration date and require renewal. When it comes to the Green Card, however, it’s important to recognize the distinctions between the two types: (1) Conditional, 2-year Green Card; and (2) Permanent, 10-year Green Card. If you’re a conditional resident (“CR”) with a 2-year Green Card obtained through marriage to a U.S. Citizen or lawful permanent resident (“LPR”) for less than 2 years, you’ll only ever use USCIS Form I-90 to replace a lost, mutilated, or destroyed Green Card more than 90 days before its expiration date.  On the other hand, if you’re an LPR, you will use the I-90 to replace and renew your 10-year Green Card.

2-Year Conditional Green Card – Act Three Months Before It Expires!

Within 90 days before your 2-year conditional Green Card expires, you will need to file the Form I-751 (not I-90) to remove the conditions placed on your permanent residence status.  Because filing the I-751 serves to extend automatically your CR status pending an adjudication by USCIS of your I-751, it’s important you do not file the I-90 by mistake.  Filling the I-90 instead of the I-751 also will result in submitting the wrong filing fee.  If this mistake can’t be corrected before your conditional Green Card expires, you could face the loss of your LPR status and placement in removal proceedings.

10-Year Green Card – Act Six Months Before it Expires or Thereafter

As an LPR, your status does not expire, but your Green Card will every 10 years.  You must apply for renewal 6 months before expiration by filing the I-90 and paying the correct fling fee (currently, $455) and the biometrics fee ($85).  Once you have filed the I-90, you’ll receive the I-797C receipt notice for the I-90.  While you’re waiting for your new Green Card, you can use the I-90 receipt notice and your expired Green Card as proof of LPR status and authorization to work for up to 12 months after your Green Card expiration date.

If you have questions about your Green Card or need help filing Forms I-90 or I-751 with USCIS, contact Polaris Law Group, P.C., at 907.885.6619 or info@polarislawgroupak.com.

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