When you get a green card, it gives you permanent resident status. Technically, this is called a Permanent Resident Card. “Green card” is just the common term used because the cards were originally printed on green paper.
Despite the name, a permanent resident card does not last forever. It typically has to be renewed every 10 years. If the card has already expired, or if it is set to expire in roughly the next six months, it is wise to renew your status. Getting a green card is certainly a big step, but it is different from becoming a citizen and so renewals are necessary.
Do the cards always last for 10 years?
Most permanent resident cards will last for 10 years, but there are also conditional resident cards. These expire after two years. As such, it’s very important for every individual to know precisely what type of card they have and what renewal schedule they’re looking at. Staying in the country in violation of a card that hasn’t been renewed could result in deportation or other legal troubles.
Can you replace your card?
Yes, if you have a permanent resident card that you need to replace – perhaps it has been lost, damaged or destroyed – this can be done by using the I-90 form. This is the same form used to renew a permanent resident card. Always be sure that your card and your status are up-to-date, and do not put off getting a renewal if a card expires or is lost.
Are you facing legal complications over your status, or do you have questions about how to make the proper adjustments? It can be helpful to have an experienced legal team at your side.