How Green Card Renewals Work


Green cards last ten years at most, so eventually, you’ll have to renew yours. 

To renew your green card, complete Form I-90, the Application to Replace a Permanent Resident Card

Here’s what you need to know. 

What happens if your green card expires?

You’ll lack proof that you can live and work lawfully in the United States or legally re-enter the United States after traveling abroad. Having an expired green card might not be a major problem right away, but it can become a problem if you must obtain a new job, travel outside the country, or get an apartment.

It’s usually best to renew this document immediately so you don’t run into any trouble. 

How long does it take for USCIS to process a green card renewal?

Processing can take six months, so plan on applying six months before your card is set to expire. If your card has expired, you should apply for a new one as soon as possible. 

If you’re outside the United States, your circumstances are slightly different. If you are returning to the US within one year of leaving and before your card expires, you can apply when you return. 

If your card expired while you were abroad and didn’t apply for renewal before leaving for the United States, you’ll need to contact the nearest US consulate and follow their instructions. 

Required Evidence for Form I-90

Usually, you only need to provide a copy of your current green card to prove you qualify for renewal. 

You must use a different process if your card is lost, stolen, or damaged. 

Reasons Why Green Card Renewals Get Denied

While green card renewal will be a routine process for most immigrants, there are cases in which USCIS chooses to deny green card renewal applications. Green card denials can happen when:

  • You’ve been convicted of a crime.
  • You provided incorrect information by mistake.
  • USCIS believes you intentionally lied on your renewal application. 
  • A judge has already ruled in favor of your deportation.
  • You used the wrong form by mistake.
  • You applied too early.
  • You were outside the United States too long.
  • You have unpaid taxes.
  • You’ve become a public charge. 

If you think some part of your current situation might prevent you from obtaining a green card renewal, it’s time to get help from an experienced immigration attorney. 

Get Help Today

We’ve helped hundreds of Philadelphia immigrants process green card renewals. If you’re confused about the form or could face a denial, contact Hykel Law to schedule a consultation today.

See also:

7 Ways to Get a Green Card 

Avoid These 3 Green Card Sponsorship Mistakes 

Marriage & Fiance Visa Lawyer in Philadelphia

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