I have noticed that my green card has an expiration date. I thought my green card never expired. Am I wrong?
Your permanent residency does not expire. However, the actual permanent residency cards “green cards”, which have been issued since 1989, do expire. They must be renewed every 10 years.
You need to make sure that your green card is always current. You are required by law to carry evidence of your immigration status (a valid unexpired green card). If your green card is not current then you can also run into the following problems: you will have difficulty proving that you are a valid green card holder; you will have problems proving that you are eligible to work in the United States; and you will have a hard time re-entering the United States from trips abroad. If your green card is expired and you wish to travel please consult with an experienced Immigration Lawyer.
A) Inside the United States
If you are in the United States and your green card is expired or is about to become expired (you cannot file form I-90 more than 6 months before your green card is going to expire) then you should apply for green card renewal immediately. This may be done via email to USCIS.
B) Outside the United States
According to USCIS, these are the ways you should handle a green card renewal if you are outside the United States:
If you are outside the United States and your green card will expire within 6 months (but you will return within one year of your departure from the United States and before the card expires) you should file for your renewal card as soon as you return to the United States.
If you are outside the United States when the card expires and you have not applied for the renewal card prior to your departure, you should contact the nearest US consulate, USCIS office, or US port of entry before attempting to file Form I-90 for a renewal green card.
Time It Takes to Obtain Green Card Renewal
Currently it is taking between 3-12 months to obtain your green card renewal. In the interim, you will receive a temporary proof of status from USCIS.
Conditional Permanent Residence
If you are a conditional resident (not a permanent resident) then this article does not pertain to you. You need to file your I-751 (within 90 days of your conditional green card expiring) in order to stay in status and not risk removal (deportation).
If you have had your green card for a long enough time period that it needs to be renewed then you are likely eligible for naturalization. However, given the fact that there could be pitfalls which, not only can cause your naturalization to be denied, but cause you to lose your green card, it is always highly recommended that you review your immigration history with a competent immigration attorney prior to applying for naturalization.
My office would be happy to talk to you about your Immigration case. We have offices in Sacramento, Roseville, Stockton, Fairfield and Auburn. We handle cases throughout the US and the World. You may reach us toll free at 888-801-6558
Disclaimer: The information provided on this site is not legal advice but general information only. This article is only a very basic introduction to this topic. You should seek a competent Immigration Attorney to review your specific facts and circumstances before proceeding with your case.