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Key points about green card renewals in the United States

For permanent residents of the United States, knowing that their 10-year green card is going to expire or has expired can be stressful. Those residents need to get started with the processing for getting the card renewed. This process can be started if the green card expires in six months or less or if it has already expired. Our Texas readers might like to know more about the process for renewing a green card.

There are two ways to renew a green card. You can choose to either fill out and mail in a Form I-90, Application to Replace a Permanent Resident Card or you can complete the application online. As is the case with various U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services processes, there are special considerations for some people.

People who aren't in the U.S. when the green card expires and haven't applied for a renewal will have to consult the U.S. port of entry, USCIS office or U.S. Consulate closest to them. People who aren't in the U.S., won't be out of the country for more than a year and will return to the U.S. prior to the card's expiration can apply for the replacement card when they return to the U.S.

Remember that you must have your green card on your person at all times. If you don't have either the alien registration receipt card or certificate of alien registration, you can be charged with a misdemeanor crime.

There is always a chance that your renewal will be denied. If that occurs, you won't be able appeal the decision. You can, however, seek to have the decision reconsidered or your case reexamined. This process is complex and requires you to send in facts that back your position. Having someone on your side who is familiar with immigration laws might help you to decide how to proceed with your case.

Source: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, "Renew a Green Card" Dec. 22, 2014

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