HORITSU.COM :: The US Immigration Laws


How to renew Green Card

The following is part of a September 8, 1999 INS press release to remind Lawful Permanent Residents to renew expiring green cards. For further information visit the INS website at www.ins.usdoj.gov.

WASHINGTON -- The Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) is reminding lawful permanent residents who were issued a "Green Card" (Form I-551 Alien Registration Receipt Card) with an expiration date approximately 10 years ago that their card will be expiring in the near future and they will need to renew it.

INS will enable Green Card renewal applicants to receive one-stop service by implementing mail- in and walk-in application procedures, depending on where the applicant lives (see Procedures below).

Lawful permanent residents with an expiring Green Card will not lose their legal status in the United States -- their lawful permanent resident status will not expire or change. However, they will need to renew their expiring Green Card in order to maintain acceptable evidence of their permanent resident status and avoid possible difficulties in obtaining employment, benefits, and re- entry into the United States after traveling abroad. Green Card renewal applicants will receive temporary evidence of their lawful permanent resident status when they go to their local INS office.

Green Card holders can apply up to six months prior to the expiration date of the card. However, there is no need for applicants to rush to apply for a new card too far in advance since they will be issued temporary proof of their status when they visit their local office. A temporary stamp will be placed in the applicant's passport or -- for applicants without a passport -- a temporary document with photograph will be issued. Temporary proof of status will be valid for one year.

In the fall of 1989, INS began issuing Green Cards with 10-year expiration dates indicated on the front of the card. INS estimates that up to 660,000 lawful permanent residents will need to renew their Green Cards during the next 12-14 months. To handle this volume of work and concurrently improve customer service, INS will implement improved procedures during the course of the next several months to progressively make the renewal process more accessible to customers and gradually reduce the wait time for a new card.

In the interim, procedures are in place to accommodate Green Card renewal applicants and ensure one-stop service -- which means that applicants will only need to visit their local INS office once, if their application is complete and correct. To renew their Green Card, applicants should complete a Form I-90 "Application to Replace a Permanent Resident Card" -- which they can obtain by calling INS' toll-free forms request line 1- 800-870-3676 or by accessing the INS website at www.ins.usdoj.gov. To maximize service to customers, INS has implemented mail-in application procedures in some areas, specified below. Mail-in applicants will be scheduled to appear at their local INS office for processing at a later date. In all other locations, applicants should submit their completed application in person.


Temporary Proof of Status

To obtain temporary evidence of their status when they go to their local INS office, all applicants should bring with them their expiring Green Card and a passport if they have one. If they do not have a passport, they should bring with them one additional photograph so that a temporary document (a stamped Form I-94 with photograph) can be created and issued on-site. [NOTE:If an applicant presents an expired passport the INS will stamp it; however, this documentation is not acceptable for employment verification purposes. Applicants can present to employers an unexpired stamped passport or Form I-94 with photograph, or any of the other documents listed on the Form I-9 (Employment Eligibility Verification Form). Accordingly, applicants who require temporary documentation for employment purposes should inform the INS officer of this fact when they come to the local INS office.]


Mail-In Procedures

Mail-in application procedures have been established in New York, Newark, and Chicago and will begin in San Francisco, Houston, San Antonio and El Paso by the end of this month. These district offices will conduct a public outreach campaign in their local communities to announce the specifics of their mail-in procedures. In all mail-in locations, applicants should mail their completed Form I-90, but should not include their expiring Green Card. Along with their application, they should send a $110 filing fee, a front-and-back photocopy of their expiring Green Card, and two photographs (as specified in the Form I-90 instructions). Upon receiving a complete application, district offices will schedule renewal applicants for an office appointment so that they can submit in person their expiring Green Card and receive their temporary proof of status. Applicants who require temporary documentation before their scheduled appointment may request it from their local INS office.


In-Person Procedures

In all other locations, applicants should submit their completed Form I-90 in person to their local INS office. Along with their application, they should submit a $110 filing fee, two photographs (as specified in the Form I-90 instructions), and their expiring Green Card. In Los Angeles the INS district office responsible for replacement green cards is located at 1241 South Soto Street, Los Angeles.