September 30

USCIS Announces Extensions for Green Cards

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced that the agency will automatically extend the validity of Permanent Resident Cards (Green Cards) for 24 months. The extension will apply to individuals who file Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card, to renew an expiring or expired Green Card.

Receipt Notices

Receipt notices for Form I-90 had previously provided a 12-month extension of the validity of a Green Card. USCIS has updated the language on Form I-90 receipt notices to extend the validity of a Green Card for 24 months for individuals with a newly filed Form I-90.

Lawful permanent residents who properly file Form I-90 to renew an expiring or expired Green Card may receive this extension. Form I-90 receipt notices had previously provided a 12-month extension of the validity of a Green Card.

USCIS has updated the language on Form I-90 receipt notices to extend the validity of a Green Card for 24 months for individuals with a newly filed Form I-90. On Sept. 26, USCIS began printing amended receipt notices for individuals with a pending Form I-90.

These receipt notices can be presented with an expired Green Card as evidence of continued status. This extension is expected to help applicants who experience longer processing times, because they will receive proof of lawful permanent resident status as they await their renewed Green Card.

Green Card Backlog Relief

If you no longer have your Green Card and you need evidence of your lawful permanent resident status while waiting to receive your replacement Green Card, you may request an appointment at a USCIS Field Office by contacting the USCIS Contact Center, and we may issue you an Alien Documentation, Identification, and Telecommunications (ADIT) stamp after you file Form I-90.

USCIS will continue to issue Green Cards valid for two years to new permanent residents. USCIS is taking this measure to help reduce the number of Green Card renewals during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. USCIS will provide additional information about this extension as it becomes available. For more information, please visit USCIS.gov or contact your local USCIS office.

If you have an expiring or expired Green Card, you may file Form I-90 online by mail to renew your Green Card. USCIS will review and adjudicate your Form I-90 as usual. If USCIS approves your Form I-90, you will receive a Green Card valid for 24 months. You can check the status of your case online using your USCIS receipt number.

Form I-90 & Commuter Status

What Is Form I-90 & Commuter Status? The Form I-90 Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card (Green Card) is an application form that allows you to replace or renew your existing permanent resident card as known as green card for a new one. You can also apply for the form I-90 for many reasons such as;

  • You lost your green card
  • You had your green card stolen
  • Your green card was damage beyond repair or readability
  • Your need for renewal is coming up soon

This replacement is for individuals who are in commuter status, you can actually tell if you have commuter status right now by looking at a permanent resident card in the top left corner where all ID serial number is, and if there’s a C1 or C2 at the very beginning of the serial number, than you have commuter status.

Green Card with Commuter Status
Example of a green card with commuter status

The commuter status allows for a green card holder to travel and live between Canada and Mexico while working in the United States. Which is great for those who need to travel and stay long periods for business, vacations, education or visiting family. The status also removes the risk associated with abandoning resident status because of the Federal Regulations at 8 CFR §211.5.

In order to receive commuter status you must report to a US Port of Entry every six months to complete Form I-178 and renew your status.

Form I-90 Cost & Processing Time

How much does replacing your green card cost? Currently, the filing fee for form I-90 if lost, stolen, mutilated, or damaged is $455. However if the data on your card is incorrect and DHS was responsible for the mistake or your previous card was issued but you never received your green card, they will pay to reissues and receive a new card. You must also pay for a biometrics fee as stander with a lot of applications. The biometrics cost is $85. Totaling all fees to $540.

What is the processing time for an I-90 application? When you do file your application generally you’ll receive a receipt notice from USCIS in seven to ten days. The receipt notice is a government receipt for your application to prove you the green card holder that you indeed did pay the filing fess. After the receipt notice is sent your case will be processed for around two to four months. Once processed and approved you will receive your new green card in the mail.

Pending I-90 Status

Can You Travel While Your I-90 Status Is Pending? The ability to travel depends on the time frame you filed. For example, if your green card is active for another year, but you want to renew your card preemptively out fear for backlogs then you can travel during that time while your green card status is active. However if you renew your green card one month prior toward the end of your cards validity then should avoid international travel at all cost, so you wont risk getting your green card revoked or being denied a renewal.

Conclusions

USCIS is currently providing a 24-month extension on Green Cards. This will give green card holders more time to renew their cards without having to worry about them expiring. USCIS is also processing Form I-90 applications as usual. If you have an expiring or expired Green Card, you may file Form I-90 online by mail to renew your Green Card. You can check the status of your case online using your USCIS receipt number.

It is important to keep up with the expiration date on your Green Card, as it is proof of your legal status in the United States. If you let it expire, you could face serious consequences such as being deported from the country.


About the author: Jon Velie has practiced Immigration law since 1993. He is CEO of OnlineVisas

Jon is an Amazon number one best-selling author of H-1B Visa: Application & Approval, is regularly covered by major media and has won a number of international awards. Jon was also pivotal in the Cherokee Freedmen Supreme Court case.


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