A green card, or permanent resident card, is proof of your ability to legally live and work in the United States. Obtaining a green card is a goal for many hoping for new opportunities in a new country, but green cards expire. Sometimes, they may get destroyed or lost. If you need to renew or replace your green card, keep reading to learn more about the process and how to get help from an immigration expert. 

renewing and replacing green card

How to Renew Your Green Card

If your green card’s expiration date is coming up, you should start the process to get it renewed. You can file the form to renew your green card six months before its expiration date. Because of current processing times (6-10 months) it’s important to file your renewal form as soon as possible to ensure you receive your new green card in time. While some choose to fill out the forms by themselves, others choose to hire an immigration attorney to make sure the process goes smoothly. 

An expired green card doesn’t cancel out your permanent resident status. You’ll remain a permanent resident, but you will need to renew your green card in order to lawfully live and work in the United States. Start the application process as soon as you notice that your green card is expired. If necessary, you can ask for a specific form to provide temporary evidence of your lawful permanent resident status. 

Applying for Citizenship

If you’re already a permanent resident with a green card, you might be considering applying to become a U.S. citizen. Applying for citizenship is a long, complicated process, and anyone applying must meet certain criteria. After five years of holding a green card, you’re eligible for the naturalization process. 

What if Your Renewal is Denied?

In some cases, USCIS may deny your application to renew your green card. Typically, once you have permanent residence status, you keep that status for life. There are some circumstances in which you are at risk of losing permanent resident status, including:

  • Failing to establish permanent residence in the U.S.
  • Committing fraud on your green card application
  • Attempting to vote in a U.S. election
  • Committing certain crimes

How to Replace Your Green Card

The process to replace a green card is the same as renewing. There are several reasons to replace a green card: a lost or stolen card, name change, or change in status are all valid reasons to replace a green card. You’ll need to pay a fee and submit documentation such as a passport or driver’s license in order to apply. 

Contact an Immigration Attorney

Sometimes, your application to replace or renew your green card is denied. When that happens, you might consider consulting with an expert in immigration matters. Whether you have questions about applying for a green card for the first time or want advice about becoming a citizen, an immigration attorney at CoxEsq, PC is here to help. We offer a range of immigration services that are designed to help our clients with their unique needs. Our helpful team is ready to help you through every part of the process so you can achieve your goals with confidence. Schedule a consultation and learn more about our services.