Do Green Cards Expire?
November 13, 2019
Recent versions Green Cards have an expiration date. These Green Cards expire within ten years of being issued. Some permanent residents may have a Green Card with no expiration date, however, these green cards may be invalid.
Is My Green Card Still Valid?
Prior to the 1990’s, the U.S. government issued Green Cards without an expiration date. Older green cards were issued on form I-151. The newer green cards are issued on form I-551. The I-551 is the form by which the government identifies the Green Card. Permanent residents may possess Green Cards with no expiration date that was issued on the valid I-551 form. Since these Green Cards were issued on the valid form and have no expiration date, these cards are still valid.
Keep in mind the photograph on the Green Card may be outdated and the individual possessing it may no longer appear similar to the photograph. This may pose a problem at a border crossing if a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer is unable to identify the individual from the photograph on the Green Card.
What is a Conditional Green Card?
Some individuals become permanent residents on a conditional basis. The most common way to become a permanent resident this way is through marriage. When someone marries a U.S. citizen, they are granted a Green Card on a conditional basis for two years. Others obtain a conditional Green Card upon making financial investments in U.S. businesses. A permanent resident with a conditional Green Card must petition to remove the conditions on the Green Card. Form I-751, or Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence, is applied for by spouses of U.S. citizens, while form I-829 is a Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions for those who make financial investments.
What are the Penalties and Problems with Expired Green Cards?
There are no penalties or fines associated with an expired Green Card. An individual’s permanent resident status remains intact. Carrying an expired Green Card, however, may create problems in the following areas:
Entering the US: Airlines may not board passengers with an expired Green Card. Also, CBP officers will require proof of permanent residency to enter the U.S. and an expired Green Card is not valid proof.
Seeking Employment: Employers are required to prove that their employees have permission to work in the U.S. This is done by having the employee fill out an I-9 form that proves permission to work in the U.S. An expired Green Card is not valid and will not qualify as proof that the individual can work in the U.S.
Renewing a Driver’s License: Most states require proof of legal residency. Permanent residents will need to show a valid unexpired Green Card to prove residency in order to obtain a driver’s license.
How Can I Renew My Green Card?
Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card, must be used to replace and renew a Green Card. Currently, the fee for renewing and replacing a Green Card is $540.
Vineland Immigration Lawyers at the Law Offices of MC Law Group, LLC Can Help You Replace and Renew Your Green Card.
If you or a loved one have had trouble renewing your Green Card, the Vineland Immigration lawyers at the Law Offices of MC Law Group, LLC are here to help. To schedule an initial free consultation, call us at 215-496-0690 or contact us online. Located in Philadelphia, we proudly serve clients throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, the tri-state area, and nationwide.