The moment when you receive your green card is a pretty indescribable feeling. The moment when you realize that your green card is about to expire or expired is also a pretty indescribable feeling. We have good news though! Just because your green card is expired, does NOT mean that your status as a permanent resident has terminated. Once you receive permanent resident status (your green card), you remain a permanent resident until you either become a United States citizen or abandon your permanent resident status (usually be leaving the United States for a long period of time.) Green card basics
A green card is valid for ten years. At the expiration of that ten years, a renewal application should be submitted. Again, if you do not renew--you do NOT lose your status as a lawful permanent resident. However, under U.S. law, a person is required
to carry a valid green card. It should be noted that being without a valid green card is technically a misdemeanor. Although, this rule is loosely followed and prosecution is unlikely. Should I even bother with renewing my green card?
The short answer is YES! You should always renew your green card about six months out from the date of expiration of your green card. Although you will remain a lawful permanent resident even with an expired green card, it is always best to have an unexpired green card. Some common problems related to an expired green card are:
I can't afford to renew my green card right now.
- Renewing Drivers License;
- Getting/Maintaining Employment; and
In order to renew your green card, USCIS charges a filing fee of $540. If you cannot afford that, you should attempt to make an INFOPASS at your local immigration office and ask for an I-551 stamp. This stamp shows that you are a permanent resident for another year and it can make your life a lot less difficult when dealing with an expired green card.
Do I have to renew for the rest of my life?
Well, it depends. So long as you are a permanent resident with a green card, you will need to renew your green card. However, after a certain number of years, a person become eligible to apply for naturalization. If a person is naturalized into that of a United States citizen, you will no longer have to worry about renewing your green card.
Hall & Dixon can help to renew your green card!
The immigration attorneys at Hall & Dixon are well versed in the ever changing laws of immigration. In order to fully protect your status and rights as a permanent resident, let us assist you with renewal of your green card! Call or text 704-993-6825 for a FREE consultation today!
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