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When Should I Renew My Green Card?

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Despite holding a permanent residence card, lawful permanent residents (LPRs) must regularly renew their green cards. But you may wonder, “When do I have to renew my green card?” Because of processing delays at the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), you should renew your green card early. Generally, you can renew a 10-year green card six months before it expires and a two-year green card 90 days before it expires.

No matter where you are in the process, the Law Office of Rosina C. Stambaugh can help. We have years of experience, including navigating complex circumstances like seeking renewal while in removal proceedings. 

What Are the Types of Green Cards?

When should I renew my green card? Before answering that question, we need to clarify the different types of green cards—as the renewal period changes depending on the type of green card you possess.
Most green cards expire after 10 years. However, you receive a two-year, conditional green card if your U.S. citizen or LPR spouse sponsored you and you were married for two years or less when you received your green card. The EB-5 immigrant investor visa is conditional as well. 

How Do You Remove Green Card Conditions?

Suppose you have a marriage-based conditional residence card. In that case, you apply to remove those conditions—i.e., get a regular, 10-year green card—by submitting Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence, to the USCIS. You remove conditions on an investor-based card with Form I-829, Petition by Investor to Remove Conditions on Permanent Resident Status

When to Apply to Remove Conditions

You have to apply to remove the conditions on a two-year green card during the 90 days preceding the card’s expiration. If you apply earlier, USCIS may reject your application. If you apply later, you may lose your permanent resident status. 

How Do You Renew Your 10-Year Green Card?

You use Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card (Green Card), to renew a 10-year green card. 

When to Renew 10-Year Green Cards

You may wonder, How long before my green card expires should I renew it? You might wisely want to avoid any issues associated with waiting too long. That desire can leave you wondering, How early can I renew my green card? What is the earliest possible date? 

You should apply to renew your 10-year green card during the six months before it expires. If you miss the expiration date, you can still renew your green card, but you may risk your legal status.

How Long Do Green Cards Take to Renew?

USCIS is currently taking more than two years to process most applications to remove marriage-based conditions. It is taking approximately 55.5 months to process most applications to remove investor-based conditions. Applications to renew 10-year green cards are taking USCIS just over a year.

What If My Green Card Expires Before I Receive a Replacement?

Because of timeline disparities, you are almost guaranteed not to receive your new green card before your previous card expires. To address this issue, USCIS currently extends the validity of 10-year green cards for 24 months to address this issue when you file your Form I-90. USCIS extends two-year green cards for 48 months when you file to remove conditions on time.

After the USCIS receives your I-90, I-751, or I-829, it will send you a receipt notice explaining the automatic extension. If you need to prove your legal status, you can provide your expired green card along with this notice.

What If I Do Not Renew My Green Card?

If you do not apply to remove conditions on a two-year green card before it expires, you generally lose your legal status and become removable. Failing to apply to renew a 10-year green card before your current card expires may result in losing your work authorization and legal right to travel to and from the U.S. 

Preparing for Renewal

With lengthy processing times, applying to renew your green card on the first day of the 90-day or six-month renewal period is ideal. If you need help applying to renew a green card, contact the Law Office of Rosina C. Stambaugh. Our experience with complex and simple cases means we can guide you forward, no matter the situation.

Author Photo

Rosina Stambaugh

Rosina C. Stambaugh, founder of The Law Office of Rosina C. Stambaugh in York, brings a wealth of expertise to immigration law. With a focus on removal defense, Ms. Stambaugh has successfully litigated cases across various Immigration Courts, the Board of Immigration Appeals, and the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, offering comprehensive support to clients facing diverse immigration challenges. She also represents individuals and families applying for affirmative benefits with U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services.

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