Individuals with a permanent resident alien status are allowed to stay in the United States indefinitely, but the identifying documents issued by USCIS do expire. Fortunately, an expiring green card does not mean you’ll be immediately deported, but it may present issues that could require the expertise of a skilled immigration attorney. Below are answers to some of the most common questions you might have about a green card expiring.
A Guide to Expiring Green Cards
When should I renew my green card?
Renewing a green card can be a complex process, so it’s best to start well in advance of the expiration date. Many experienced immigration attorneys recommend beginning the re-application process six months before the expiration date listed on your card.
What if my card has already expired?
If you didn’t notice the expiration date passing, there is no need to panic. USCIS won’t penalize you for letting your green card expire, although you may run into significant problems if you fail to renew promptly.
Are there criminal penalties for failing to renew the card?
While permanent residents likely won’t be criminally charged for having an expired card, you may face other serious consequences. For instance, you won’t be able to renew your driver’s license or apply for a loan without a valid green card, and you may not be allowed back into the country if your documents are expired.
What if my green card is conditional?
Green cards issued on the basis of a marriage or investment activity typically expire after two years. Instead of renewing, those with conditional green cards should have an immigration attorney help remove those conditions and obtain a standard document valid for 10 years.
If your green card is nearing its expiration date or has already expired, the immigration attorneys at Berd & Klauss, PLLC have the expertise and detailed experience to help you navigate the confusing re-application process. From their offices in New York City, they’ provide legal assistance to clients from all over the world dealing with a broad array of immigration law issues, from green card renewals to deportation proceedings. Visit their website for a sample of their services or call (212) 461-7152 to speak with an experienced immigration attorney.