What is a Permanent Resident Card?
A Permanent Resident Card, commonly known as a
Green Card, is evidence of your status as a lawful permanent resident with
a right to live and work permanently in the United States. It also is
evidence of your registration in accordance with United States immigration
laws. The Permanent Resident Card is also called Form I-551.
Does the Law Say?
of the Immigration and Nationality Act provides that, "Every alien in
the United States shall be issued a certificate of alien registration or
an alien registration receipt card in such form and manner and at such
time as shall be prescribed under regulations." It also states,
"Every alien, eighteen years of age and over, shall at all times
carry with him and have in his personal possession any certificate of
alien registration or alien registration receipt card issued to him. Any
alien who fails to comply with [these] provisions shall be guilty of a
Should Renew a Permanent Resident Card?
renew your permanent resident card if you are a permanent resident who was
issued a Form I-551 valid for ten years, and that card is either expired
or will expire within the next six months.
Please note: If you are a Conditional Resident and
your status is expiring, these instructions do not pertain to you.
You are to use Form I-751
(Petition to Remove the Conditions on Residence) to apply to remove the
conditions on your permanent resident status.
Do I Apply to Renew My Permanent Resident Card?
If you are
a lawful permanent resident whose ten-year I-551 has expired or will
expire within the next six months, you may renew your card by filing an
Please Note: This procedure should NOT be used by
lawful permanent residents who are seeking to replace their permanent
resident cards for reasons other than expiration of the card¡¯s ten-year
validity. For those seeking to replace their permanent resident cards for
reasons unrelated to the ten-year expiration date (e.g., because the card
has been lost, stolen, mutilated, or because biographical data has changed
or is incorrect), please see How
Do I Replace My Permanent Resident Card.
Exception: You may, however, request to change your
name on your new card (because of marriage, legal name change, or divorce)
at the time you file your application for a renewal card. To do so, you
must provide a copy of your marriage certificate, divorce decree or court
order as evidence of the legal name change.
If I am Outside of the United States?
If you are
outside the United States, and your permanent resident card will expire
within six months, (but you will return within one year of your departure
from the United States and
card expires), you should file for your renewal card as soon as you return
to the United States.
If you are
outside of the United States at the time of the card¡¯s expiration, and
you have not applied for the renewal card prior to your departure, you
should contact the nearest American Consulate, Immigration office, or Port
of Entry, before attempting to file Form I-90 for a renewal I-551 card.
Can I Find Out the Status of My Application?
the status of your application, please contact the Application Support
Center that receipted your application. You should be prepared to provide
the Immigration staff with specific information about your application,
such as your Alien Registration Number, name, and date of birth.
My Application is Denied How Can I Appeal?
application for a renewal of your permanent resident card is denied, you
will receive a letter that will tell you why the application was denied.
You will not be allowed to appeal a negative decision. However, you may
submit a motion
to reopen or a
to reconsider with
office that made the unfavorable decision. By filing such a
motion, you may ask the Immigration office to reexamine or reconsider its
decision. A motion to reopen must state the new
facts that are
to be provided in the reopened proceeding and must be accompanied by the
appropriate documentary evidence. A motion to
reconsider must establish that the decision to deny your application
was based on an incorrect
application of law or Immigration policy, and further establish that the decision was incorrect, based on the
evidence in the file at the time the decision was made.