Once you acquire permanent residence, and assuming you don’t do anything specific to lose it (for example, by breaking the law), you will always be a permanent resident. However, your green card, which proves your status, can itself expire and need to be replaced. Green cards expire every ten years. If your green card has expired or will expire within six months, you can get it renewed. You can also renew your green card if you lost it.
To do this, you’ll need to file Form I-90, the Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card. You can do this either online or by mail. The filing fee is a total of $450.
If your application is denied, you will be sent a letter saying so. You may not appeal this decision, however, you can submit a motion to reconsider your case. You will be asking the USCIS to evaluate your case again. When you do this, you must provide new facts and prove that the USCIS’s decision to deny you was based on the incorrect application of law or immigration policy.
For precise instructions on completing your I-90, please click here.
If you are a conditional permanent resident, you are given a green card that is valid for two years only and should not use Form I-90 to renew your status. If you are a condition permanent resident and your status was based on a marriage, you must instead file Form I-751, which is the Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence. Once you do this, you will receive a green card that is good for ten years. From that point on, you will renew your green card using Form I-90 the normal way.
Overall, the process for renewing or replacing your green card is quite simple, especially considering what you went through to get it originally. Replacing it just means filing one form (I-90), paying the required fees, and waiting a bit for approval. Just be sure to do it at least six months before your card expires, if you can, as to give the USCIS office adequate time to send you a new one.