USCIS Updates Green Card Renewal Process

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services issued an announcement regarding permanent resident card renewals and work authorization, which is pasted below.

Lawful permanent residents renew permanent resident cards (I-551) using the I-90 form, available at Permanent resident cards are issued for 10 years at a time, typically. There are some older ones that have no expiration date, and conditional permanent residents are granted cards for only two years, which require other actions to replace. As of this writing, green card replacements are processed at USCIS’s Potomac Service Center and are taking 7 to 17.5 months to process. The filing fees for renewals changes, but is currently $540. The process also involves a visit to a local Field Office to process for biometrics. Renewal applications can be submitted on-line or with a paper application.

The processing times can create issues for noncitizens, once the current card expires. It used to be that USCIS would issue a sticker to extend the validity of the card. USCIS’s alert below says that the agency has revised its receipt notices for these applications to automatically extend the validity of the card by a year, when presented with an expired card.

The extension process will be helpful for establishing continuing status in relation to international travel, employment authorization, and valid documentation of identity. For our local border commuters, this could be particularly helpful, and save a trip to USCIS. Sometimes it takes a while to get the biometrics appointment at Seattle, where a sticker would formerly have been obtained.

We are available to discuss this process and provide the latest updates, as applied to individual circumstances. There are times when it make sense to consult with an immigration attorney prior to presenting any application before the agency. The forms and process are regularly updated.

Here’s the text of USCIS’s latest announcement, regarding the automatic extension.

USCIS to Replace Sticker That Extends Validity of Green Cards

Release Date 01/12/2021

Starting in January, we will replace the sticker that is currently issued to lawful permanent residents (LPRs) to extend the validity of their Form I-551, Permanent Resident Card (PRC or “Green Card”), with a revised Form I-797, Notice of Action. LPRs file Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card, when their Green Cards expire or are about to expire. The revised Form I-797 notice will serve as a receipt notice for the Form I-90. 

When presented together with the Green Card, the revised Form I-797 notice will extend the Green Card’s validity for 12 months from the date on the front of the Green Card and will serve as temporary proof of the LPR’s status. This change ensures that LPRs with a recently expired Green Card will have documentation of identity, employment authorization, and authorization to return to the United States following temporary foreign travel.  

Form I-90 applicants who have not been issued a notice for a biometrics appointment and are in possession of their Green Card, will no longer have to visit an application support center to obtain temporary evidence of LPR status. Applicants who have already been scheduled for a biometrics appointment will not receive a revised notice and will be issued an extension sticker at their biometrics appointment. 

Starting in January, applicants who file Form I-90 to replace an expiring Green Card will receive the revised receipt notice in the mail approximately 7-10 days after USCIS accepts their application. This notice will be printed on secure paper and will serve as evidence of identity and employment authorization when presented with an expired Green Card. 

For questions specific to employment, please see I-9 Central. For more information, visit our Replace Your Green Card page.