Green Card Renewal
Green cards offer many benefits, such as the ability to obtain a driver’s license, work and apply for government financial aid. Because green cards offer such benefits, it is extremely important that your green card remains valid. While green cards typically do have expiration dates, most expire in 10 years, while temporary green cards expire in two years. Please note, the process for obtaining a 10-year green card if you have a two-year green card requires the filing of an I-751, which is not discussed here. If you are in possession of a 10-year green card, you must file an application for renewal, Form I-90, to maintain your permanent resident status in the United States.
How do I know if I should renew my green card?
You must file Form I-90 if:
- Your green card is expired or will expire within six months
- You obtained your green card from USCIS Form AR-3, Form AR 103 or Form I-151. Even if your green card has not expired, these forms are no longer valid.
- You have an old version of the green card
- Any information on your green card has changed, such as a name change from a marriage or divorce
- You obtained your green card before you turned 14 years old
Although Form I-90 looks simple, the renewal application process can have very serious consequences if done incorrectly. For these reasons, it is important that you understand the items outlined below when you apply for your green card renewal.
One of the most serious consequences that come with an application for a green card renewal is denial based on a criminal conviction. With the exception of minor traffic offenses, if you have been convicted of a crime, you may end up in removal proceedings. If you are placed in removal proceedings, you will be given the opportunity to present a defense. You will essentially fight for the ability to remain in the United States. However, a negative decision at a removal proceeding will result in deportation. Removal proceedings are one of the most serious issues a green card holder can face. If you have criminal convictions on your record, speak to an attorney before filing Form I-90.
There are other issues that will lead to a denial of your green card renewal application. For example, if you have failed to preserve residency in the United States by living in another country or traveling outside the United States for a year or longer, your application may be denied. A denial for green card renewal cannot be appealed. Immigration law is an extremely complex area of law. If your green card renewal is denied, it is strongly recommended you seek legal counsel with an experienced immigration attorney. He or she will advise you of possible remedies and inform you of your rights. He or she will know what immigration laws apply and what evidence to collect.
Form I-90 may look simple but failing to properly fill it out can lead to unnecessary delays, complications with traveling outside of the U.S. and a denial of your application. If you are thinking of renewing your green card, or your green card renewal has been denied and/or you have been placed in removal proceedings, do not hesitate to contact me today. Call 813-279-6180. We have offices in Tampa and Clearwater, Florida.