The Green Card is a form of identification card given to lawful permanent residents of the United States. It is also known as a permanent resident card or an alien registration card. Currently Green Cards are valid for a ten year period, as each ten year period draws to a close, the card has to be renewed. The following guide will explain this process.
What is a green card.
Requirements of a Green Card holder. Once a person has been given a Green Card, and the right to remain within the United States permanently, they need do nothing else to ensure their continued stay in the country. The only requirement is that they inform the green card issuing body of any changes of address. Expiration date of the card. Although the card has an expiration date once Green Card status has been approved, that never expires unless by choice of the holder or by an act to have the status forcibly removed. The Green Card is simply your identity card. It proves your legality within the country and gives you the right to work and live there legally. Keeping the card up-to-date. The process to renew your Green Card is a simple one and is best done online. You need to fill out Form 1-90. To keep your card up-to-date, the process of renewal must be completed within the six months before the old card is due to expire. It cannot be done any earlier than the six months of its expiry date.
Replacing your old card.
What if my card has passed its expiry date?
In these circumstances you must immediately apply for a new card to continue to be a lawful permanent resident.
Older type cards.
Holders of older type cards have no expiry date on them. Holders of these type of cards should apply for a renewal to receive the newer ten year cards. The USCIS strongly recommends the older style cards being renewed although this is not a legal requirement.
Lost or stolen cards
You should also apply for a replacement card using Form 1-90 if your current green card has been lost or stolen. This should be completed immediately on discovering the card has been misplaced or stolen. Replacement cards If your card has been destroyed beyond being suitable for use, or mutilated, then the same form should be used. Replacement should also be applied for if there is a clerical error upon your new card. If you have changed your name by marriage, then a replacement card will also be necessary. Holders of Green Cards, younger than 14 years old, must also request a new card once they reach 14 years of age.