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Green Card: consequences of its expiration

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A Green Card is valid for ten years. When the holder of the Green Card does not renew it in on time, their status may be affected as a result. The conditions will vary depending on whether the person is in or outside of the United States.

In the case of having an expired Green Card while inside of the United States:

  • This must not be cause for alarm since the person continues to be a resident – this state is never lost.
  • The first thing a Green Card holder must do is to request its renewal through the Internet, using form I-90.
  • It is ideal to make the petition of renewal six months in advance of the expiration date of the Green Card.

Important notice:

Citizenship through naturalization may not be requested if their Green Card is expired or if there are less than six months left for its expiration.

In the case of having an expired Green Card while outside of the United States:

Contrary to the case of those who are in the United States, there might be a problem if the Green Card expires while the resident is outside of the United States without having filled form I-90 before their departure. This form may not be filled from outside of the United States.

Moreover, airlines will not allow passengers flying to the United States with expired Green Cards. It is very important to take the preventive measures of the case.

What do you must do?

The most important thing is to schedule an appointment at the closest American Consulate in order to process a Transportation Letter.

For this letter it is important to have additional documents:

  • 2 passport photos
  • Legible copy of the passport
  • Copy of the boarding pass issued by the airline used to fly to the United States
  • The expired Green Card. It may be necessary to present a proof of no criminal record.

Once you have this letter you must travel to the United States before its expiry date or 30 days from the date of its issuance.

It is very important to understand the difference between permanent residency and conditional residency.

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