In New Jersey and other locales, if you need a replacement or renewal for your expired green card, you must know the process and requirements to get a new card and maintain your U.S. permanent resident status. The following points provide guidance on the information required to work through the renewal or replacement process so that you can keep working in the U.S. legally and re-enter the country if you have traveled abroad.
Proper timing to apply for renewal
If you have a 10-year green card, apply for your renewal immediately if you have an expired green card or within the six months before its expiration date. If you attempt to apply too early, your application may receive a denial. If you are not physically in the U.S. and your card expires within six months, according to immigration law, you should file for a renewal as soon as you return.
The green card renewal application process
To start the renewal process, you must complete Form I-90, known as the “Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card.” You can use this same form for renewals and replacements. You can complete the application process online using the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website or by mail using a paper form you can complete by hand.
Processing time for renewals
Once you submit your application for renewal to USCIS, expect a processing time that ranges from one and one-half to 12 months. To check the status and see updates on current processing times, look on the USCIS website.
Renewal fees for green cards
You must pay a renewal fee of $540 for your new green card. This fee includes a filing fee of $455 and a biometrics fee of $85 for your photo, fingerprinting and signature. However, you may not have to pay either fee if you are eligible for a fee waiver. You can choose different payment options depending on whether you complete your application online or by mail.
An expired green card does not mean you lose your permanent resident status, but you need a valid card to provide legal proof of your status. By understanding the renewal process steps, you can maintain your green card and continue enjoying the benefits of being a lawful U.S. resident.