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Renewal of Green Card Attorneys

Once you have been granted your green card, you enjoy the rights that come with being a permanent resident of the United States. While your status is considered permanent, that doesn’t mean that your work within the immigration system is done. You’ll still need to renew your green card as required by law, and if you decide to continue your journey with naturalization, that’s an entirely separate process.

Is it time for you to renew your green card? Have you lost your card and you’re unsure how to proceed? Whatever situation you find yourself in, we know we can help. Call Castillo & Associates at 800-497-9774 to talk to a team member.

The Timeline

After you receive your green card, it is valid for ten years. You’ll want to start the renewal process well in advance of your card’s expiration date, as USCIS is notorious for backlogs and long processing times. Starting the process early protects you from cutting it too close to your deadline.

Please note that an expired green card does not take away your permanent resident status. An expired card does not mean that you are suddenly in the United States illegally. However, it does mean that you no longer have proof that you are legally permitted to be in the United States to live and work.

The Renewal Process

To renew your card, you fill out I-90—the Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card. While you can fill out a physical application and mail it in, many applicants prefer the convenience of submitting this form online. You just have to create a USCIS account, fill out the form, and submit copies of documentation requested by USCIS.

USCIS will then process your application and notify you if it’s approved. One of the benefits of applying online is that you are notified both by mail and via your online account—no more anxiously checking the mailbox waiting for a letter. If your application is approved, you’ll need to attend a biometrics appointment. At this point in the immigration process, you are likely already very familiar with what a biometrics appointment entails.

What if your application is denied? This is not common, as you’ve already made it through the permanent residency process. There are circumstances in which USCIS will deny a renewal. These include a failure to pay taxes, conviction of a crime, or a fraudulent application.

What Happens If I’ve Lost My Green Card?

If you have lost your green card or it was stolen, the process is largely the same. You will still need to fill out form I-90, but you will check a box indicating that your card was lost or stolen. As you may expect, USCIS takes this quite seriously—you will need to submit a notarized statement of how you lost the green card. If it was stolen, plan on submitting a copy of the police report.

Why is so much documentation required for a lost or stolen green card? USCIS wants to verify that a card was actually lost or stolen and that the applicant isn’t trying to get a second green card to sell or give to a loved one.

Why You Need an Attorney

Renewing a green card may be one of the easiest processes in your immigration journey. However, you may still find it helpful to hire an attorney. If you are very close to your deadline and you’re worried that an expired card will hold up your travel or work plans, talk to an attorney. They can help ensure that you submit the proper documentation the first time, avoiding costly mistakes that can cause unnecessary delays. You may also want to work with an attorney if you worry about your ability to understand the forms, submit the correct documentation, or otherwise navigate the process.

If there is any reason at all that your application may be denied, definitely make talking to an immigration lawyer a top priority. If you have been convicted of a crime or failed to pay taxes, talk to an attorney before applying for renewal. When USCIS processes your application, they may start deportation proceedings and deny your application if you are found inadmissible to the United States. This is definitely something to talk to an attorney about—we can help you understand the possible outcomes and decide the best path forward.

Reach Out to Castillo & Associates Today

The team at Castillo & Associates is here to help you with all of your legal immigration needs, including renewing your green card. Set up a time to talk now—just call us at 800-497-9774 or send us a message online.

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