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Green Card Renewal: Permanent Resident Card Renewal

By: Benjamin E. Hertz|LRL Editor

Green Card USAGreen Card, as the name suggests, is the official document provided by United States of America for the people who want to reside in the country. Since the card is green in color (in earlier versions) and marks for their permanent stay in the country; it is referred to as green card. It is a proof that the immigrant is legally staying in the country under the status of Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) and hence enjoys the immigrant benefits which includes both stay and employment in the country. However, renewal of the green card is required to ensure a trouble-less stay in the country.

The green card is officially known as Form I-551 and comes with an expiry date for any immigrant who has applied for it after 1989. As per the USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services), a bureau of the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS), a resident card is issued to the immigrant that comes with a validity of 10 years that  is mentioned at the front of the card to protect against forgery and corruption. However, the green card renewal is not necessary for the individuals who had been issued it between the years 1977 to 1989.

The renewal of the Green Card or the Permanent Resident Card should be done to ensure that the person does not have to face any trouble in getting employment, benefits and re-entry into the United States from abroad. The form for the card renewal can be filled 6 months before the expiry of the card, however it is not required by the card holder to rush. The process of renewing the card takes about 10 to 12 months of time and in the mean time a valid yet temporary proof of status is issued which is valid for another one year.

The renewal process of the green card is simple and does not take much of an individual's time. The card holder needs to fill a Form I-90 (Application to Replace a Permanent Resident Card). The form is also available online for the residents of New York, Newark, Chicago, San Francisco, Houston, San Antonio, or El Paso nevertheless they will still need to visit the USCIS process. Individuals residing in other parts of USA needs to fill the application form in person and carry a photograph along with them so that they can obtain a temporary document of their authentication the very same day.

Though there is no penalty or punishment for residing with the expired green card, it should be renewed immediately to ensure that one does not have to face any problems during the employment verification. In addition, an individual might face problem or delay while re-entering US during the inspection process at the port-of-entry. Hence the temporary document is vital as it is valid enough to verify the legal status of stay in the country. A fee of $110 is charged from the person and he/she can also request for a fee waiver if he/she cannot afford the fee.

Related Topics:

Immigration and Naturalization Service: United States INS

Green Card Process: Applying For Permanent Residence In US

Green Card Status: How To Check Status Of Your Green Card