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Franklin
Franklin, Immigration Attorney
Category: Immigration Law
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I have had a green card (Form I-551 JAN 77) sinceFebruary 8,

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I have had a green card (Form I-551 JAN 77) sinceFebruary 8, 1975 with no experation date. Card is of cream color with finger print on it and was told by an immigration officer when returning from a cruise to Bermuda that the card has "sort of expired". When I called the USCIS office I was told no. Some cards still do not have an experation date. What gives here?? - I was told a long time ago this card will never expire but now when booking a flight to Switzerland they ask for an exp. date otherwise I can finish the booking.

Your thoughts please and thanks very much
Sincerely XXXXX XXXXX Bucher
Good morning,

I can confirm that what you have is an older style green card with no expiration date. You're correct in that it's still valid and will not expire. However, you're encountering a typical problem with these cards--you can't fill out an expiration date, or you may be detained by officials who have never seen the older version before.

In your situation, I'd recommend that you do a quick cost-benefit analysis about the pros and cons of having such a card. If you switch to a newer style card, you'll have less hassles with the airlines and authorities, but you'll immediately have to pay a $370 renewal fee, and a renewal fee every decade going forward. On the other hand, if you keep your existing card, you won't have any fees, but you'll continue to problems with air transportation.

I'd recommend that you get in touch with someone at Swiss Airlines and get this sorted out manually. Your green card is still valid. Speaking for myself, the hassle of spending 10 minutes on the phone with a customer manager to get your ticket straightened out is worth saving money on green card application and renewal fees.

I hope this answer addresses your questions. If it does not, please let me know how I can be of additional service before leaving negative feedback. We experts depend on positive feedback to be able to continue offering our services in this low-cost format. A poor rating affects my ability to provide effective service in the future, so I appreciate your positive support in advance.
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Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Dear Franklin,


Thank you for the quick response and your very professional answer. Ultimately, I feel there is no way around this problem and I will apply for a "ten year renewal" card sometime in the future.


Thanks again and have a great day


Rudolf

No problem. I wish you the best of luck. Have a great day.