Online Green Card renewal is one of the ways in which you can get your green card renewed. A green card signifies your lawful permanent status in the US. Though your status is permanent your card is valid only for 10 years and has to be renewed regularly. This is USCIS’s way of keeping information about lawful permanent residents updated.
Considering that the green card is the proof of your status in the US, it is mandatory that you carry it with you at all times. However, it has to be mentioned here that, most people prefer leaving it in a safe place to prevent theft and loss of the card. Keeping that in mind, it would be your best option to carry a photo copy of your green card with you at all times.
Not only do you need to have the green card with you at all times, you need to have a valid one. Which means that you should not be carrying an expired green card. The green cards come with an expiration date. Green card renewal has to become a part of your life in that you should remember to get the card renewed every time that there are only 6 more months left for the card to expire.
Application to renew green card
You will have to file the I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident card for a green card renewal. You should file this form when there are 6 months or less remaining for your card to expire. Even if your card has already expired you will have to file the I-90 to get it renewed. This is the same form that is used for green card replacement. The I-90 has to be completed and submitted to the USCIS along with some supporting documents. The I-90 can be mailed to the USCIS or filed online.
The I-90 can be accessed online. You will have to create an account on the USCIS website. You can then login and complete your application and submit it. You will then have to mail your supporting documents to the USCIS. After you have electronically filed your application for green card renewal, the USCIS will mail you a biometrics appointment notice. It may take several weeks before you can receive this notice. This notice will carry all the information regarding the time, date and location for the biometrics.
After you receive the notice, you will have to appear for the biometrics appointment at the specified Application Service Center with the notice and photo identification of yourself. The photo identification may be your passport, driver’s license, military or state-issued photo identification. You will be photographed and fingerprinted. An interview will be conducted if necessary. If all goes well your green card will be mailed to you. The whole green card renewal process could take up to 180 days on average.
Please note that not everyone is eligible to file online for green card renewal. A permanent resident can file this form online to replace a lost, stolen or destroyed card, to update biographic information on the card, to replace a mutilated card, to renew an expiring card, when changing status from resident commuter and taking up permanent residence in the US, when the status is automatically converted to that of permanent resident, and to replace an older edition of the card with the latest type.
A conditional resident cannot file for online green card renewal but can file online for the replacement of lost, stolen or destroyed green card, to replace a mutilated card, and to update changes in biographic information.
If you are abroad and wish to immigrate to the US, you need to go through consular processing. Whereas if you are already in the US and are eligible to apply for a green card based on being sponsored by an employer to family member or based on holding asylee or refugee status, you can file an Application to Adjust Status to Permanent Resident through Form I-485.
Adjustment of status :
Simply put, if you are currently in the U.S. and have an approved Immigrant Petition, you will be eligible to file an Application to Adjust Status to Permanent Resident of the US. Unless you are applying in a category for which visa numbers are always available, you must have a “current” Priority Date in order to be eligible to file. If you are applying based on your relationship with a U.S. citizen spouse, the parent or child may be eligible to file the Application for Adjustment of Status to Permanent Resident at the same time that the Immigrant Petition is submitted.
If you are an individual who held asylee or refugee status for one year or more, you may also be eligible to file to adjust status to Permanent Resident. If you are outside the U.S., you will not be eligible to file to adjust Status to Permanent Resident. In such a case, you can get a green card status by applying for an Immigrant Visa at a U.S. consulate in your country. The I 485 green card form can also be used by certain Cuban nationals to request a change in the date that their permanent residence began in the US.
You need to file I 485 for green card with the needed supporting documents and fees with the USCIS. If you are 79 years of age or older, you will not be charged a biometric fee. If you are filing Form I 485 on the basis of being admitted to the United States as a refugee, then you need not pay any fee.
After you send the application to the USCIS, and while it is being processed, you can travel outside the United Stated. But you need to get advance permission called Advance Parole to return to the U.S. In case you do not apply for Advance Parole before you leave the United States, you will abandon your application with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), and you will not be allowed to return to the United States.
If your Form I 485 green card application is denied, USCIS will send you a letter that will tell you why the application was denied. Currently, if you are not in a legal status in the US, the process to remove you from the country will begin as soon as your application is denied. In such a case, you can have an immigration judge review the denial of your application during removal proceedings. During this review, Immigration officials should prove that the facts on your I 485 application were untruthful and that your application was rightly denied. After this, if the immigration judge decides to remove you from the country, you can still appeal this decision. Normally, you can appeal within 33 days after the immigration judge decided to remove you from the country. The appeal will then be referred to the Board of Immigration Appeals once your appeal form and the required fee are processed.
A Green Card is an evidence or an identification card given to the eligible people to live and work in United States as a permanent resident. The Green Card holders are granted many immigration benefits. The green card holder must maintain the permanent residence status and will be put in the removal proceedings if certain conditions of the his/her status are not met.
A Green Card is valid for ten years and it must be renewed before it expires. If the Green Card is obtained through marriage to a US Citizen or a permanent resident, by adjustment of the status using Form I-485 green card, it is called as Conditional Green Card which is valid for two years. This must be renewed before the conditional resident status expires.
Renew Green Card application:
Permanent Residents who are issued with a ten year valid Green Card must renew their card before it expires. All Green Cards will have an expiration date printed on the card. The card holders must renew it if it has already expired or 6 months before the expiration date . Some Green Cards will not have an expiration date due to an old version of the card. But now USCIS strongly recommends to renew the old version cards . If the Green Card is expired then the card is considered as Out of Status.
Green Card Renewal process:
Those people whose Green Cards have already expired or is expiring must adopt the Green Card renewal process. To renew the card a form I90 ( Application to Replace / Renew Green Card) must be filed by the applicant.
Once the application is completed , the applicant must send it to USCIS along with the supporting documents and relevant fees.
The applicant must include the following evidences with his/her Green Card Renewal application.
- Photocopies of the front and back of the Expired or Expiring Green Card.
- Personal Identification document such as a State Driver’s license card or a valid passport.
After the USCIS receives the Green Card Renewal application, they will check if all the required evidence that the applicant provides are correct and complete. And on receipt of the application, USCIS will send a form I-797C (Application Receipt Notice to the applicant) to notify the applicant the application has been received.
USCIS will then request for more information and might request the applicants to appear for an interview with them. If the Green Card Renewal application is approved, the new Green Card will be mailed to the applicant. If the application is denied , USICS will send a notification letter to the applicant stating the reason for denial.
Travel during the application process:
If the applicant who wishes to travel during the Green Card Renewal process, he/she may have to get their passport stamped with I-551 at the local INS office to indicate that he/she has filed for a new card. The applicants will have to make an appointment with their local USCIS office using the Application Receipt Notice (form I-797C) and passport which acts as proof of having filed the I-90.
A permanent resident is a person who is granted authorization to live and work permanently in the United States. As a proof of the permanent resident status the individual is given an authorization card which is commonly called as Green Card and officially called as I 551. Permanent Residents are authorized to work in any company or institution, permitted to start own business or create own corporation, given the privilege to sponsor his/her family members.
There are various ways in obtaining a green card. One may obtain a green card through employment, through family member, asylee and refugee status, through adoption by a permament resident or a US Citizen or through green card lottery program. Most people become permanent residents through a family member who is a US citizen or permanent resident of the United States. The United States allows U.S. citizens and Permanent Residents to petition for their family members to come and live permanently in the United States.
Who can use form I-130:
To get a family based green card a foreign individual must be sponsored by a US Citizen or a Lawful Permanent Resident. The sponsor must file a petition called form I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative) to help the immigrant to immigrate to United States.If the immigrant is already in US, the sponsor can adjust the status using Form I-485 green card. To sponsor a family member , the sponsor or the petitioner must meet certain eligibility criteria.
- The sponsor must be either a US Citizen or a Permanent Resident of the United States . The sponsor must also provide document for such status.
- The sponsor must have a qualifying relationship with the immigrant.
- The sponsor must be willing to sponsor the immigrant by filing a form I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative)
- The sponsor must prove that he/she will be able to support the immigrant and other sponsored family members financially at 125% above the mandatory poverty line.
Obtaining a family based green card is a two step process. The first step is filing the Family Immigration Petition form I-130 where the sponsor must establish a qualifying relationship with the immigrant. The second step is filing the green card application. The second step is not necessary when the sponsor is a US Citizen and the immigrant is the spouse or parent or minor child who is currently in the United States. Other immigrants who do not fall in this category must go through both the process .
If the sponsor is a US Citizen, then he may sponsor his spouse, children, parents and siblings under certain conditions. If the sponsor is a Permanent Resident , then he/she may sponsor his spouse , children and parents .
All the family based green card petitions must be signed properly and sent to USCIS with the supporting evidence. Once the petition is received , it will be checked for completeness with the inclusion of the supporting evidence. If the required evidence is not submitted, the application will be rejected. The USCIS might require more information from the sponsor or the immigrant and might request them to appear for an interview. If the petition is granted, they will be notified in writing.
Green card is an essential document for a person to prove his permanent residence in the US. It is far more important that the green card one possesses is valid and is current. Whenever a green card is expired or not valid, it can very well be replaced by filing form I 90 which is the application to renew or replace the green card .
When and why to renew a green card:
Green card renewal is a process by which an expired green card is made a valid card so as to maintain the residency requirement in the US. The green card can be renewed by filing form I 90, Application to renew the green card. This form is also used by the conditional permanent resident to apply for the replacement of the existing green card.
The reasons for applying for green card renewal are listed below,
- if the previous card that was issued was lost, mutilated/destroyed/partially destroyed or stolen
- if you never received the green card that you applied for
- if the present card has incorrect information or data because of an error on the part of the USCIS.
In case of a green card renewal for any one the above reasons, a copy of the government issued form of identification with all the necessary personal information like the name, date of birth, passport, photograph has to be submitted.
Apart from the above reasons, one can apply for a green card replacement
- if the name or any biographic information has been changed legally after the green card has been issued
- if the existing green card has already expired or will expire in six months
- if you are a permanent resident and are taking up commuter status.
- if you are a commuter and taking up actual residence in the United States
- if you have been converted to permanent resident status automatically
- if you have the old edition of green card and you are applying for the replacement apart from the reasons specified above.
In case of children,
- if the child has reached his or her 14th birthday and the existing card will not expire before his or her 16th birthday.
- if the child has reached the 14th birthday and the existing card will expire before his/her 16th birthday
In case of Conditional Permanent residents, they can apply for green card renewal for the following reasons,
- if your card is lost /stolen or destroyed or mutilated
- if your card was issued and you never received it
- if the card has wrong information due to USCIS error
- if the name or any biographic information has been changed legally after the green card has been issued
All the required documents with the relevant fees should be submitted along with the application. On approval the permanent resident card will be mailed. If required, originals of certain certificates will be required for verification and later will be returned. Failure to renew the green card will leave your status at risk and might lead to deportation. In case of falsifying or concealing any kind of material fact, you will loose your immigration benefits.
Wondering if you can get green card for your children? Yes. You can. If you are a U.S. Citizen, then you may petition your spouse, parent(s) and children for a Green Card status. Whereas if you a Legal Permanent Resident (green card holder), you can sponsor only your spouse and unmarried children.
Initially, or the first step is the “Immigrant Petition” that will establish a qualifying relationship between the sponsor and the child abroad. Then the next step will be the green card application . If you are the sponsor and are a U.S. Citizen and the foreign child is in the U.S., then it is possible for you to file the Immigrant Petition and Green Card for children application at the same time. Whereas if you are a lawful permanent resident, your child must wait for the Immigrant Petition to be approved before they can proceed with the Green Card application.
While sponsoring for a green card for your children, the first step is to submit Form I-130, the Immigrant Petition. If your child lives outside the U.S., then the next step in the process is to make the application for the Immigrant Visa at a U.S. consulate which has jurisdiction over your child’s place of residence.
And also note that if your child/ren live in the U.S., then you file form I-485 through which you can adjust your status. As a U.S. Citizen, and if your child lives in the U.S. and is both unmarried and under the age of 21, then you can submit Form I-130 and Form I-485 at the same time. This is generally the fastest way to apply for a Green Card. As a Legal Permanent Resident, if your child is married or over 21 or lives outside the U.S., then you must wait for the Form I-130 to be approved before moving to the next step in the process.
If you are a U.S. Citizen, then you may also sponsor your married child for a Green Card. Married sons and daughters of U.S. Citizens fall in the third-preference category. This means that they must wait for a priority date to become available before they can apply for a visa. In other words, married sons and daughters must wait longer that unmarried sons and daughters to apply for a Green Card.
Legal Permanent Residents may not sponsor their married sons and daughters for a Green Card.
Unmarried children below the age of 21 can be sponsored as “Immediate relatives” by their U.S. Citizen parents. They can apply for a Green Card directly without having to wait for a priority date to become current. The US citizen parent can also sponsor their children who are married or over the age of 21, however these children will not qualify as immediate relatives. These applicants will need to wait for their priority date to be current before they are eligible to apply for a Green Card.
A monthly visa bulletin published by the Department of State tells applicants when their Priority Date is current. Before applying for a green card, applicants must wait for their Priority Date to become current.
The green card marriage interview is a sophisticated process. It will be more intense and probing. The reason is because many get married just to get a green card as getting a green card through marriage is another legal way to get one.
Clearing the marriage interview to get a green card :
As soon as you get the letter asking you to come to the green card marriage interview, ensure that you have copies of all the documents they ask for. Generally preferred documents are recent tax return and affidavit of support and photocopies of birth certificates and passport.
Another important aspect is to have photographs and joint bank accounts ready and prepared. Also having photographs of your wedding, honeymoon, vacations, birthday parties are added advantages.
Bank Accounts are extremely vital. The interview officers will be convinced seeing you and your spouse share assets. And also make sure the bank accounts have income of both parties credited and joint expenses debited. For example, you can make the lease or mortgage payments through the account. Simple issues like the drivers license being same as the tax return address will prove vital. Also having mobile phone bills and other bills such as electric bill going into each persons name.
The questions in the green card marriage interview questions may range from the usual, “how did you meet her” to very detailed and intense questions. So be prepared and make it extremely important to sit together a few days before the interview and discuss. Because if the officer interviewing you suspects that your marriage is fraudulent, you will have to meet the fraud unit. An officer will interview you and your spouse separately and explicitly. And then the results of both your interviews will be compared.
It is an irony that sometimes, truly married couples also get suspected because of their personal characteristics and may have to go through a fraud interview. And persons who do not share a common language, or differ significantly in age, class, religion or even educational background and also those who don’t live at the same address might be called for a fraud interview. You may also be called if your application missed facts that your marriage is genuine or if it contains some inconsistencies or looks suspicious.
Generally, green card marriage interviews are held only in the U.S. If you are called for such an interview while abroad, your U.S. spouse need not attend the interview, just you alone. When you get an advance notice of fraud interview, it is recommended to hire an attorney. Though an attorney does not have any right over the questions, he/she will be in a better situation to deal with any follow-up matters.
The officer may sometimes apply harsher tactics, such as falsely telling one person that their spouse has already “confessed” that the marriage is fraudulent, just to push the interviewee into confessing. At times, the officer might intimidate you, reminding you about the jail term and fines if caught committing marriage fraud. They may also sometimes ask you to withdraw the visa application or tell you to sign stating that your marriage is a fraud. If your marriage is genuine, do not sign such things. If asked to do so, you can reschedule the interview and you can bring an attorney with you the next time.
Whereas, if your marriage is a fraud, no matter how hard you work or prepare, it is easy not to be able to answer some very simple questions.
If you gained the residence status through marriage to a US Citizen or Permanent Resident you must file the form I-751 (Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence). If your dependent children acquired conditional resident status along with you, then they also must be included in the application to have their conditional status removed. If your dependent children acquired conditional resident status after the status was adjusted or if the conditional resident parent deceased then those dependent children must file Form I-751 separately to have their conditional status removed.
Conditional Green Card:
The Conditional Residence Status is available for two years from the approval date. It will expire when the two year conditional period is over and you will be deported and removed. To avoid the deportation and removal , you need to file form I-751, 90 days or less before your conditional residence expires. After you apply Form I-751, USCIS will grant an extension of 1 year interval time in United States until the request to remove conditions is approved or denied.
There are other reasons you can continue filing the Form I751 with a waiver when you,
- entered the marriage in good faith, but spouse subsequently died;
- entered the marriage in good faith, but the marriage was later terminated due to divorce or
- entered the marriage in good faith and have remained married, but have been battered or
subjected to extreme cruelty by U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse; or
- termination of the status and removal would result in extreme hardship.
If you file based on marriage, you must provide documents such as birth certificates of children, joint financial statements, and letters from employers, friends and relatives to prove that the applicant obtained the conditional residence status without fraudulent.
If you file based on your joint filing to be waived then you need to provide documents such as \
- evidence of death certificate (if spouse deceased),
- copy of divorce certificate (if marriage terminated),
- evidence of abuse (if you or your child was battered or subjected to extreme cruelty).
When to File
If you file this form along with your spouse, you must file it during the 90 days before your second anniversary of the date if approval of your Conditional Residence Status.
If you are filing this form that the joint filing requirement with your spouse to be waived, then you may file this application anytime after conditional residence status is granted or before your removal.
If you fail to file this form then you will lose your permanent residence or you will be subject to deportation. If your delay to file your application is not your fault, you may then provide an explanation to the USCIS to execute the late filing.
After your Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence was received by USCIS, they will check for completeness , including submission of all initial evidence. You may then be requested to appear for an interview at USCIS office. The decision on approval of your petition depends on your eligibility and the requested benefit.