Are you needing to renew your Green Card (lawful permanent resident card) soon?
When looking to replace an expiring green card, lawful permanent residents (LPRs) apply through a Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card. Typically after applying LPR renewers will receive a Form I-797 receipt notice providing them with a case number and then the applicant must wait. And wait and wait some more.
During this period while they are waiting for their new green card to arrive their existing card may have expired, especially due to the increased government processing times. With an expired green card, to get proof of their lawful permanent resident status to renew driver's licenses or obtain employment the applicant had to schedule an in-person appointment with USCIS to get an I-551 stamp in their passport.
Because the ability to schedule these appointments online was eliminated during the Trump administration, one can only schedule such an appointment by calling the USCIS customer service number. As you can imagine, this can be a very frustrating experience.
To help this situation, on January 12, 2021, USCIS released an Alert notifying LPRs that the Form I-797 receipt notice, together with the expired card, will serve as an extension of one's lawful permanent residence. You will need to hold onto your Form I-797, as it will serve as a receipt notice for your Form I-90. USCIS states that “When presented together with the Green Card, the revised Form I-797 notice will extend the Green Card's validity for 12 months from the date on the front of the Green Card and will serve as temporary proof of the LPR's status.” No more need to schedule an in-person appointment to extend your expiring lawful permanent residence.
The exact wording of the receipt notice will state:
“This notice provides evidence of your lawful permanent resident status for 12 months from the expiration date on your Form I-551, Permanent Resident Card (also known as a Green Card). You remain authorized to work and travel. This notice, presented with your expired Permanent Resident Card, is evidence of your status and work authorization.”
So… Does this Make it Easier or Harder for Me?
For now, easier! If you haven't been issued a new notice for a biometrics appointment and are still in possession of your green card, you no longer have to visit an application support center to receive temporary evidence of your LPR status! (Also, don't worry if you haven't received a biometrics appointment notice yet, read our blog from last week about why there's been so many delays with appointments).
Remember that lawful permanent resident status is permanent - just because your green card is expiring does not mean that your status is expiring. However, all LPRs are required to have a valid, unexpired Green Card or equivalent documentation with you at all times.
If you have questions about applying for renewal of your lawful permanent residence status please reach out to us at (757) 422-8472, or send us a message on our website. You can also schedule an appointment with one of our immigration attorneys by clicking on this link.