How and When Should a Green Card be Replaced?

September 29, 2022

A green card allows the person holding it to live and work in the United States permanently. However, there are times when green cards require renewal or replacement, which can interfere with the individual’s goal of permanent residency.

Despite allowing the holder to live and work in the United States, green cards are only valid for limited times and have expiration dates. Therefore, replacing or renewing them after this expiration date is necessary. It is also possible for a card to be damaged or lost, which would also need replacing. Unfortunately, replacing or renewing them can take time, so recommendations often encourage taking the initiative by starting the process before the expiration date or as soon as the card is lost.

It can take approximately ten to twelve months to replace a green card. Additionally, applications completed incorrectly can increase this timeframe. However, applicants can obtain temporary proof of their permanent residency while waiting on a replacement card. Though temporary, this acts similarly to a green card and provides the same benefits, such as employment or travel-related uses.

How To Replace or Renew a Green Card

Green card holders must complete several steps to replace or renew their cards. These steps include filling out an Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card (Form I-90) and paying a filing fee. The form and instructions for filling it out are available on the USCIS website. The form must be filed online or by mail. Once filed, applicants may check their status online using the receipt number.

When Is the Best Time To Renew a Green Card?

The best time to renew green cards is within six months of expiration. Filing before this timeframe often results in automatic denials and not refunded. Ideally, applicants will file as close to the six-month mark as possible. This timing typically ensures green cards do not expire before renewals are ready.

As of January 2021, the USCIS started a new process for issuing temporary proof of residential status. This process had the USCIS send an I-797 notice and Form I-90 to green card holders. The message works as lawful evidence of permanent residence status for a year after a Green Card or Permanent Resident Card expiration. It also allows international travel and provides authorization to work in the United States.

Employers must remember to file Form I-9s for all employees, including United States citizens and lawful permanent residents. The easiest way to complete the form is using an electronic I-9 management system. This system will guide hiring personnel through the entire process and securely store the paperwork and accompanying documents.

When it comes to your employees, automation makes eligibility verification quick and simple. Ensure compliance today with I-9 Compliance.