Immigration Law

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Green Card Renewal Process

A Green Card, which is also known as a Permanent Resident Card, is an identification card that legally authorizes an alien to live permanently and work in the United States. It is important to keep a Green Card current and to renew before the expiration date, in order to continue working and traveling in the U.S. Listed below are some of the key issues relating to Green Card renewal.

Can a record of misdemeanor delay the green card renewal process?

Case Details: I had applied for Green Card renewal six months back and it is about to expire shortly. I was informed that it will take another six months. I had a misdemeanor theft case against me for which I owed $7 to the police and cleared the debt recently. 

It is very likely that is the reason. You would now want to collect the certified copies of both the police report and court disposition to prove that the case is legally settled. Make sure to get all these documents certified. Once the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) contacts you they will probably ask for those documents. The entire process takes time because they have to send your case to the local office and will need to schedule an interview with you. Since it is a misdemeanor and as long as you served fewer than six months’ jail time, it is not likely to be a big problem.

Post application how long does it take for the renewal of a Green Card?

Additional Question: How many days does it take to schedule a biometrics interview?

On average, the processing time for an I-90 Green Card takes from three to six months. The biometrics interview should be scheduled within about five to eight weeks after reviewing the I-90 application. However, these are just estimates and the actual time might vary widely from case to case.

Do I run the risk of my Green Card renewal application being rejected in this case?

Case Details: The FBI fingerprinted me twice but failed to classify that. Now they are asking for a criminal background check. I have lived legally in the U.S. since 1976.

Sometimes it does happen that the fingerprints don’t “take”. Though it might cause some delay, I don’t think you need to worry much about it. Green Card renewal is usually not denied on these grounds. All you need to do is to submit the clearance letters from the police as requested and things should be fine in due course.

I have to travel abroad in about one month but my Green Card is expired. Will I have a problem re-entering the U.S.?

Case Details: Green Card renewal applied for online 3 days before expiration and confirmation received through a receipt and an I-797.  

You should contact your local USCIS field office and make an InfoPass appointment with them. Don’t forget to take your current unexpired passport, the I-797 fee receipt, and your travel itinerary. The information officer will use these documents to put a stamp on your passport indicating temporary evidence of residence status, which should to allow you to board your return flight to the U.S.

What is the cost of a 10-year Green Card renewal?

Additional Question: Do I need an attorney for this?

The renewal of a 10-year Green Card, for which you will need Form I-90, costs $450. You may be able to file this without an attorney. However, hiring an attorney for this may be useful, and fees can range anywhere from $500 to $1500.

Renewal of a Green Card sometimes can be a tricky affair and it can be challenging. Filing both the forms and working with the USCIS can be frustrating and confusing. To facilitate this process, it may be useful to ask an Expert for clarification and guidance.

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