November 23, 2015 Douglas Lightman

How to Renew a Green Card

Renewing Your Green Card

When you are approved for lawful permanent residency in the U.S., it is something you can hold onto indefinitely provided that you comply with all related rules and regulations.

The “green card” is the document or card that a lawful permanent resident uses to evidence to an employer and various government organizations that they are in fact a lawful permanent resident of the U.S. The green card for a lawful permanent resident is valid for 10 years at a time.

Thus, when it is six months from the date of expiration, you will need to submit an application for renewal.

To renew your green card, complete Form I-90 with USCIS. There are three ways obtain the form:

  • By request from your local USCIS office
  • Through the USCIS website, on the I-90 page
  • Through ELIS, a USCIS electronic filing system

Regardless of which channel you select for application renewal, you will still need to send in all relevant supporting documents through the mail. Among the necessary renewal documents will generally be a copy of your current green card.

As of November 2015, the fee to renew a green card via the Form I-90 is $540. This fee includes the form fee of $455 plus a biometrics fee of$85 that covers the necessary fingerprinting, photograph, and electronic signature.

Biometrics are captured during a USCIS appointment that usually takes place several weeks after application submission. The USCIS uses the information they obtain from the biometrics appointment to do a fingerprint check against the FBI database to ensure you haven’t engaged in any activity that would jeopardize your lawful permanent residency status.

Note: If you are a conditional lawful permanent resident, your status and green card expires in 2 years. As such, you must submit a petition, NOT Form I-90, to have that conditional lawful permanent residency status removed at least 90 days before your status is set to expire and, upon approval, converted to lawful permanent residency status where you will receive a 10-year green card.

For example:

It is very important to stay current and petition the USCIS to remove any conditional status in a timely fashion. Allowing a conditional green card to expire could place your permanent residency status in jeopardy. For access to the various forms, you can visit the USCIS website.


Douglas Lightman

The award-winning Lightman Law Firm was founded by Douglas M. Lightman, Esq. Mr. Lightman has extensive experience in immigration law and international matters through both work and personal experience. Prior to forming Lightman Law Firm, Mr. Lightman spent several years at an international tax consulting and compliance firm where he focused on international tax consulting and cross border transactions. Mr. Lightman is a United States trained lawyer who received his law degree from Brooklyn Law School and is a member in good standing of the Bar of the State of New York and a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, the world's largest organization of immigration lawyers. To discuss your possible case with Mr. Lightman or another immigration lawyer from Lightman Law Firm LLC, call (212) 643-0985 or fill out the consultation request form on your right. A representative of our firm will contact you shortly upon review of your request.