How Long Does It Take To Renew Green Card


As a permanent resident, it’s important to stay aware of green card renewal deadlines and know how long it takes to renew a green card.

How Long Does It Take To Renew a Green Card?


Green cards need to be renewed constantly since they are valid for a period of 10 years. Before these ten years pass, a green card holder should apply to renew a green card.

Every permanent resident card holder is obliged by law to carry a valid green card if they are a lawful permanent resident of the U.S. and older than 18.

On the other hand, if you have a conditional permanent resident status, bear in mind that status is valid only for two years. In addition, it can’t be renewed – after two years a conditional green card expires, so you have to apply to have your conditions removed, if possible.

Generally, it takes the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) from 10 to 12 months to complete a green card renewal process. However, that depends on the number of green card renewals they have to process, as well as if these applications are correctly completed.

If a green card application has errors, that can also result in a delay of the processing time or denial of green card renewal. Hiring a competent immigration lawyer would help avoid that and submit an error-free green card renewal application.

Is Renewing a Green Card Possible?


Green card renewal is a process that should be done every 10 years. It consists of the following steps:

  • Complete Form I-90 (Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card)
  • Pay $455 filing fee
  • Submit all required supporting documents along with the Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card

You can download the green card renewal application and instructions directly from the USCIS website.

In most cases, you will need only a copy of your soon-to-expire permanent resident card as a supporting document. But, if your green card was stolen, lost, damaged, or there is some other reason you need to replace it, the required supporting documents may include a Government-issued ID or other legal documents.

The green card renewal process can be done by mail or online by using your own USCIS online account. Whatever you choose – whether to file online or by mail, including a letter explaining what you are submitting may speed up the process a bit.

Green card renewals done by mail can be paid for with a money order. On the other hand, you can pay for online renewals with a credit or debit card.

If you are wondering: “Does a green card renewal require an interview” the answer is – it depends. Usually, an interview is not required. However, the USCIS may request it if they want to run a background check or collect biometric information.

Those who have a conditional green card will have to file Form I-751 (Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence), and that has to be done within 90 days before the expiration date. Also, conditional permanent residents will probably have to attend an interview in order to have conditions removed from their green cards.

Renewing a Green Card (Permanent Resident Card)


After you have sent the Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card (Form I-90) along with supporting documents to renew your green card, you will get a receipt notice, usually within three weeks. To be more precise, you will receive an I-797 receipt notice which will say:

This notice provides evidence of your lawful permanent resident status for 12 months from the expiration date on your Form I-551, Permanent Resident Card (also known as a Green Card). You remain authorized to work and travel. This notice, presented with your expired Permanent Resident Card, is evidence of your status and work authorization.”

The receipt notice will also contain a unique receipt number, a combination of three letters and ten numbers, that you can later use to track your USCIS case.

How Long Does It Take To Renew Your Green Card After Biometrics Appointment


Around four weeks after your filing date, the USCIS will send a biometrics appointment notice. The notice will contain a biometrics appointment date, place, and time to have your fingerprints, signature, and photo taken.

The biometrics appointment will typically be scheduled around three weeks after the notice at a USCIS Application Support Center near you.

The biometrics appointment notice will also include instructions on what you have to bring to the biometrics appointment.

After the biometrics appointment, the USCIS will continue working on your green card renewal application. Getting your new green card may take as little as six or as much as 12 months from the filing date.

The waiting times stated here are estimated, and unique processing times vary. They depend on different factors, including the caseload of the application service center that is processing your green card application.

How Long It Takes To Renew Green Card in 2022


Green cards can be used for 10 years. It’s recommended that you apply for a green card renewal at least six to ten months before it expires. That way, there will be enough time for the whole process to complete before your current valid green card expires.

Your green card’s expiration date can be found on the front of your ID, where it says “Card Expires” in the lower right corner.

Note that if you file to renew your current permanent resident card earlier than 12 months before the expiration date, the USCIS will likely reject your application. Also, you will not get a refund of the filing fee.

You can check the green card renewal times on the USCIS website processing times page. It is also possible to track the progress of your green card application by visiting the case status page and entering your receipt number.

Although you can’t see how long you will have to wait for the process to be over, you can see at what stage of the process your application is and try to estimate when it will be over.


What If You Are Outside the United States?

If you have forgotten your current green card is about to expire, and you are outside of the United States, there is a solution. If you didn’t apply for a renewal before leaving, reach out to the international USCIS field office, if possible, or the nearest U.S. consulate or point of entry to the U.S. and explain your situation to them before filing a renewal application.

However, bear in mind that green cards can’t be mailed to non-U.S. addresses. If you are a permanent resident but have commuter status, the USCIS will send the new green card to the U.S. point of entry you have written in your application.

If you realize that your green card will expire while being outside the United States, but you plan to return within a year of departure and before the actual expiration date, make sure you file for renewal as soon as you return.

If the card has actually expired while being out of the U.S., you may be able to return, but not without facing some difficulties. Although you will most likely board your transportation carrier with an expired green card, reentering will be at the discretion of the Customs and Border Protection officer (CBP). In most cases, those with an expired green card will have to pay a re-entry fee.

Green Card Renewal Timeline for an Expired Green Card


Green card permanent residents have to carry their valid green cards with them. However, there are no fines or penalties for an expired green card.

Carrying an expired permanent resident card or not having a card at all will be a problem at some point. An expired permanent resident card can impact an individual’s ability to renew a driver’s license, get a new job, travel, or perform other activities that require proof of permanent residence. Individuals can also encounter these problems if their renewed green card arrives after their current one expires.

But, there is a way for individuals to avoid the gap in proving permanent residency by getting an I-551 stamp in their passports. That will serve as temporary proof of their lawful permanent resident status until their new green card arrives.


How to Replace Permanent Resident Card?

If you lose your physical green card, the replacement process is similar but not the same. Although you will still have to complete Form I-90 and pay the filing fee, you will also have to attend the biometric appointment.

There are no additional fees for renewing a green card after it expires. If a permanent resident card is not renewed before it expires, the holder’s immigration status doesn’t change, and it will not result in deportation. On the other hand, permanent residents may be deported for certain offenses.

Some lawful permanent residents may be eligible to become U.S. citizens through the naturalization process. At the law firm of Michael G. Murray, P.A., you will find a committed naturalization & citizenship lawyer who has the knowledge to assist with the naturalization process and help you complete any associated immigration forms.

How to Speed Up Green Card Renewal Processing Time?


In some cases, the USCIS allows expediting the process of a green card renewal application. This request can be granted for emergencies and urgent humanitarian reasons or if a government agency such as the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Department of Defense, and other public safety, labor, and employment agencies identify certain cases as urgent. There are also other reasons the USCIS can use to determine the urgency of one’s request and expedite the issuance of a renewed permanent residence card process.

If the application is approved, standard green card processing times don’t apply, and the case can be processed much faster.

What Does Renewing a Green Card Cost?


As of January 2022, the green card renewal fee is $455. If USCIS requires you to attend a biometric services appointment, you will have to pay an additional $85. That makes it $540 in total.

A filing fee is the same even if you renew your green card after it expires. However, certain individuals may qualify for a green card fee waiver or a fee reduction.


Waiving Green Card Filing Fees

To be eligible for reduced or waived green card renewal fees, you have to be able to show that your financial situation doesn’t allow you to make such a payment. For example, these applicants’ annual household income has to be between 150% and 200% of the Federal Poverty guidelines.

There is another possibility – if you are receiving a public benefit such as Supplemental Security Income or some other type of “means-tested” benefits, you may be eligible to waive filing fees. However, you have to prove you receive such a benefit. Also, if you are currently experiencing financial hardship, even if your income exceeds the Federal Poverty Guidelines, you may be eligible as well.

If you can prove your financial inability to pay, and fill out Form I-912, otherwise known as Request for Fee Waiver, filing and biometric fees can be waived.


Skipping Renewal and Applying for Citizenship

Suppose you have been a lawful permanent resident for at least five years, or you are a permanent resident married to a U.S. citizen for at least three years. In that case, you may be eligible to skip the green card renewal process and apply for citizenship directly.

The experienced immigration visa lawyer at the law firm of Michael G. Murray, P.A. can help you if you have concerns about your immigration status or are interested in obtaining an immigrant or non-immigrant visa.

Contact our law firm or give us a phone call at (512) 215-4407 to schedule your consultation today.