What happens if my green card expires?


2020 is not an especially good time to be a foreigner working in the United States. There is a lot of xenophobia in the country and it is only natural to feel a bit nervous if your green card expires. Fear not; if you have permanent residence status, you still have the legal right to be here even if your green card is out of date. However, it is not a good idea to let your card expire as there are a few problems that may arise if it goes out of date.

Things You Cannot do With an Expired Green Card

If you travel outside of the U.S before getting your card renewed, you will not be able to return on an expired card. Any employer is going to want to see an up to date green card and you will need a current card to receive any government benefits.

How long is a green card good for?

If you have been granted conditional permanent residence, your green card will expire after two years. You may not get a second conditional card. Instead, you can apply for permanent residency. You should submit your application for your permanent green card 90 days in advance of the expiration of your temporary card. When you are granted permanent residence, your card will normally expire after 10 years, but there are some that will never expire.

When You Should Replace your Card

If your card was lost stolen or destroyed, you should replace it as soon as possible. If your card was converted from temporary status to permanent status, you should replace it as well. If your card will expire in the next six months, you should apply for your new card right away.

How to Apply for a New Card

To replace your card, simply go to the USCIS website and fill out an I-90 form. You can apply for the new card on any device and track your new card’s progress online. You can also communicate with the USCIS office directly if it becomes necessary.

You may have to provide documentation such as proof of your permanent residence, a marriage certificate, or tax information.

What if your application is denied?

In the event that your application is denied, you should get a letter explaining why from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service. You may submit a motion to reopen your case. If you believe that the agency based its decision on incorrect information, you will want to provide them with documentation of this. Be sure to bring any new information that might change the agency’s decision.

Hiring an Attorney

If your application is denied, you will want to hire an immigration attorney to advocate for you. Immigration law is complex and it is helpful to have a professional lawyer by your side. The attorney you hire should be well versed in immigration law and have a good deal of experience in dealing with cases just like yours. They should be able to provide you with a list of references and have enough time to dedicate to your case. Click here to learn more about green card applications.

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