Green Card Renewal/Replacement
For those who need to renew their green card, this DIY is meant to help applicants understand the steps and procedures that need to be taken, depending on one's situation. The application steps for renewing your green card are different when it is lost or stolen as compared to when you simply need to renew your card because your expiration date is nearing or because you need to remove the conditionality on your card.
First Step: Access the Correct Form
If you have lost your green card in the United States, you need to go to the USCIS website and file the I-90 form. You will notice in Part 1 that are several boxes to check to notify the USCIS as to your circumstances. These include:
- Filing because your green card was lost or stolen
- Filing because your name or other legal information has been changed since the existing card’s issuance
- Filing because your existing card has been destroyed
- Filing because you are taking up commuter status
- Filing because your existing card will expire within 6 months
However, this form is not applicable for those who are looking to remove the conditionality on their green card and 2-year status. Applicants who had been married for less than 2 years before receiving their LPR status most likely received a 2-year green card. In order to remove the conditions of this arrangement and receive a full-time 10-year green card, applicants will need to file Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence.
Thus there are two main forms applicants should know about when deciding how they are going to renew their green cards domestically inside the United States.
However, there is one more form that applicants should be aware of if they have had their green card lost or stolen while abroad, and need to travel to the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate to have their situation figured out. This is the form I-131A, Application for Travel Document. The approval of this application will allow individuals in this situation to apply for a temporary document to board the carrier (airline to the U.S.).
Required Supporting Documents
For those filing an I-90:
- A government-issued ID that contains your name, DOB, photo, and signature
- A copy of the I-797 that was issued for your existing green card (if applicable)
- Appropriate legal documents if your name was legally changed since the issuance of your existing green card
- Evidence of employment status (if switching to commuter status)
- Copy of expired green card (if applicable)
- Translation documents to English (if applicable)
In general, if you are filing an I-90, you need backup evidence signaling to the USCIS your identity, whether this is in the form of a foreign passport, state-issued ID, etc.
For those filing an I-751 Petition because of a 2-year conditional green card, the following documents are needed:
- Photocopy (front and back) of the conditional two-year green card you’re trying to replace
- Evidence of the bona fide marriage (anniversary pictures, the birth certificate of new children in the family, bills/resources that have been split)
- Two passport-style photos for each petitioner and dependent (if applicable)
- Dispositions of any criminal charges that might have occurred in the two years conditional green card period (legal documentation)
There are other reasons that an applicant might be filing their I-751 with a waiver of the joint filing requirement. To see a list of reasons and respective documents needed for the waiver of joint filing, please see the following USCIS link and scroll to the “Checklist” pop-down menu: https://www.uscis.gov/i-751
For those filing an I-131A abroad because of a lost or stolen green card, please provide the following documents:
- Foreign passport (for identification purposes)
- Evidence of original LPR status (this should also be in the applicants' foreign passport designated by a CBP admission stamp)
- Electronic documents (if applicable)
How to File…
Applicants, regardless of why they are filing, have both the online and paper mail option for filing the I-90.
Tips for Filing Online:
If you wish to file online, you need to make a USCIS account and file your entire application electronically.
Applicants first need to make an account. They can do this by going to the USCIS Home Page and selecting the Sign In Page at the top right.
Create a way you would like to receive verification codes. Common methods are by phone/email
After creating an account, applicants will be able to upload the necessary forms and complete them. The USCIS saves your work as you go, so you don’t have to worry. When you log out, your work will be saved.
For filing by Mail:
The USCIS has different mailing locations depending on the forms submitted. Previously we have covered forms that are sent by mail to the Dallas Lockbox facility, however for filing an I-90, applicants need to send their completed applications to a different address:
Via U.S. Postal Service:
P.O. Box 21262
Phoenix, AZ 85036
Via FedEx, UPS, and DHL deliveries:
1820 E. Skyharbor, Circle S, Floor 1
Phoenix, AZ 85034
Assembling your mail-in application
- Pay the fees.
- File Form G-1450, Authorization for Credit Transaction. Available here.
- USCIS only accepts the following credit cards: Visa, Mastercard, Amex, and Discover. Make sure your account balance will cover the cost of the transaction at the time of filing
- You can also send in a check/money order in your application package.
- File Form G-1145 eNotification of Petition Acceptance. Available here.
- Clip this completed form to the front of your petition
Final Check before wrapping up
- Supporting documents should be in English or accompanied by an English translation
- Use fasteners to hold together thick or bulky applications/petitions. Two-hole punching the top of the material for easy placement in the file is appreciated. Avoid using heavy-duty staples, binders, or folders that make the documents hard to disassemble.
- Stick tabs/notes help in locating items listed in your attachments. Please place the tabs/notes on the bottom of the page, not the side.
- Be sure to make different cases separated by fasteners or rubbers if you are delivering them in the same envelope.
The I-751 Petition needs to be sent to a lockbox facility in order to be processed and adjudicated by the USCIS. The following addresses apply:
U.S. Postal Service (USPS):
P.O. Box 21200
Phoenix, AZ 85036
FedEx, UPS, and DHL deliveries:
1820 E. Skyharbor Circle S
Suite 100 Phoenix, AZ 85034