5 Things You Should Know About Renewing Your Green Card

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A green card is basically a document that’s issued by the US government to legal immigrants that are aged 18 and above. Without this document, it’s difficult to prove that you are a permanent resident of US. All green card holders enjoy the privileges that are accorded to US citizens such as the right to engage in gainful employment or employ others, unlimited access to loans, driving license renewal and being able to travel overseas. Although the document grants you permanent residency, you are required to renew it before the lapse of its validity period, that’s usually between 5 and 10 years. Here is a list of the things that you should know when renewing your green card.

1. Its Compulsory

Renewal of green card is not optional. In fact, it can only be optional for those people that don’t wish to continue staying in the US. But if you want to continue pursuing the American dream, you must renew your green card. As a matter of fact, carrying an expired green card is as bad as not having one. Funny enough, the immigration officers don’t push into getting a valid card. But when they find you with an expired card, they will definitely deport you without a second thought. They will not even give you a chance to tell your reasons for delaying in renewing the card. It’s therefore important to replace resident card before the long arm of government catches up with you.

2. You Must Renew the Card in Advance

As mentioned earlier in the article, failure to renew your green card can turn your life into a living hell. Once the card is no longer valid, you will start playing hide and seek games with the authorities. For a start, you will be living in fear because you will be in the radar of immigration officers. Besides that, you will not be able to conduct your business as usual or even go to work. The list of tribulations that await anyone that fails to renew their card is actually endless. You can avoid such troubles by renewing your resident card before it expires. For instance, if you apply for another card three months before the expiry of the current one, you will have peace of mind because the new card will arrive before the deadline.

3. Your Application can be Rejected

Every green card holder is required to fill the form I-90 when requesting for the renewal of their card. However, submitting a petition doesn’t mean that it will be renewed. In fact, there are many cases of petitions that have been rejected due to various reasons. For one, if you don’t provide all the details as required by law, the petition can’t be approved, meaning you will have to start the paperwork afresh. Keep in mind that there is a non refundable fee that must be paid when submitting your green card renewal petition.

4. There are different Types of Green Cards

There are various categories of green cards. You can actually get a green card through marriage to a US citizen or through sponsorship from your sibling that’s based in the US. You can also get a green card through investment, where you relocate from your home country and establish a business in the US that hires the natives on full time basis. Regardless of the channel that you used to obtain the card, you must apply for a new one before the expiry period of the initial card. Even if you divorced your wife or husband, you still need to renew the card to avoid being deported. The same case applies to all other categories of green cards.

5. You can Involve an Attorney 

It’s important you consult an immigration attorney when filing your card renewal petition. This is because they are knowledgeable on immigration matters and can therefore boost your chances of getting a positive response from the immigrations department. The good thing is that there are many attorneys that specialize in this field. They are also well connected in the government. That’s why the majority of them are able to guarantee success when filing for such a request.

Zara Jones is a valued contributor to various CosmoBC's blogs.

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