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How to Renew a Green Card

Two Parts:The PaperworkAfter You've Filed

Permanent resident status, often referred to as "having your green card," is not a lifetime status. It must be renewed periodically, similar to a driver's license. The normal timeline for renewal is every 10 years. Read this to learn how to renew a green card if you are a permanent resident living in the United States and your 10-year limit is coming up.

Part 1
The Paperwork

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    Start the renewal process six months before your green card expires. It is hard to gauge how timely the renewal process is. Once in a while, the process backs up and it takes months and months. This isn't often, but it's best to take precaution.
    • You may also want to renew your green card if it's been lost or stolen (if stolen, contact the emergency department), damaged, your information has changed, you have turned 14, or you have taken up commuter status.
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    Fill in form USCIS I-90. This form is available at the United States Citizenship and Immigration services website. Or, alternatively, you can file it on paper. The USCIS requires the form to be filled in completely. Processing will not begin until this is done.
    • The I-90 form can either be filed electronically (the fee may be paid simultaneously) or you can use the U.S. Postal Service. If you would like to receive one by mail, call the form orders line at 1-800-870-3676.[1]

Make sure you have a picture of the expiring green card that you can upload to the online application or have a printed copy of the expiring green card for the mail-in application.

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    • You may or may not be eligible to e-file. Check their website for more information.
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    Send in the fee for renewal. Currently, that fee is $450.00 and is subject to change. It includes an $85 fee for biometrics -- fancy talk for taking your fingerprints, taking your photo, and the electronically capturing your signature. This should be done online with your e-filing or included with your form when mailed in. They accept American Express, Mastercard, Visa, and Discover cards.
    • If you are filing on paper, send in your application and fee to the following address:
      • USCIS
        Attention: I-90
        PO BOX 21262
        Phoenix, AZ 85036[2]
      • Pay the fee with a personal or cashier's check or money order drawn on a U.S. bank payable in U.S. dollars to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Do not use the initials DHS or USDHS or USCIS when writing checks. Do not send cash or traveler's checks.
    • Once payment is received, you will receive a receipt. On this receipt will be the address to which you send the supporting documents. Additionally, if biometrics services are required, they will send you notification of your scheduled appointment time and place.

Part 2
After You've Filed

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    Wait for a notification of receipt from the USCIS. This will come either in the form of an email (if you filed online) or as a letter. File this in your records as proof you began the process.
    • The USCIS will mail you a Form I-797C, or Notice of Action. This is the notice you should use as evidence that you filed this application. Again, this is the notice that lists the information you need for your subsequent appointment.
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    Attend your biometrics appointment. Bring your appointment letter with you in addition to some form of photo identification. The biometrics appointment consists of fingerprinting and taking your photo for your green card. It is nothing to worry about unless you have a new and improved criminal record.
    • If you need proof of documentation while the USCIS is reviewing your status, say so at your appointment. They will stamp your passport to indicate that you have filed for a new card. It will enable you to exit the U.S. and reenter.[3]
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    Review the checklist sent to you by the United States Immigration Service and gather your paperwork. Once more, wait for notification from the United States Immigration Service concerning further appointments. Otherwise, the next step is receiving your card.
    • There may be an in-person interview you will have to attend at a regional location. It's just as likely you may not have any additional appointments to attend and will receive your new green card in the mail.


  • Double check all of your paperwork to avoid problems and interruptions in the process.
  • If you are looking to become a U.S. citizen, look into submitting the citizenship application instead. Once you become one, you won't need to bother with renewing your green card. Once you have the citizen application on file, the USCIS says carrying an expired green card is okay.[4]
  • If you need to change your address, you can do that online.[5]


  • There is a possibility that you will have to begin the process again if you let your green card expire. This will include paying all applicable fees.
  • The process is different for conditional residents that have a 2-year card. You must get the conditions removed within 90 days of your card's expiration date. That process, too, can be done online.[6]

Things You'll Need

  • Form I-90
  • Money for renewal fee
  • Photo I.D.
  • Expiring green card

Article Info

Categories: Official Travel Documentation