The resident card which is commonly called green card is proof that the holder is a lawful permanent resident of the USA. With it, one has immigration benefits which include permission to live and work in the country. Losing it is a nightmare, it becomes difficult to travel abroad or get a job. There are various tips to consider while replacing a green card. They include;
- Determine your need
There are various reasons to replace the resident card. On top of the list, is that a green card is expiring within six months or has expired. This guarantees consideration and one has to replace the card as soon as possible. However, filing for replacement before expiration is prohibited.
Another need that may permit a person to replace the resident card is if the card has incorrect data, stolen or destroyed. A person can get another card if the name or other biographic information legally changes.
- The application process
This is another tip that one must consider while replacing a green card. One obtains Form 1-90 from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service office or on their webpage. One can simply request the forms by calling their offices and be mailed the documents. Another easier way is downloading the form while using the latest Adobe Reader. Upon filing the form, it is later submitted via mail or online through the Electronic Immigration System. One should read the instruction sheets carefully before downloading the form. It will take you 15-20 minutes to complete the 8-page form.
It’s very vital that a person knows the application process isn’t free. An application fee will cost $450 which includes $85 for biometric services such as fingerprinting, capturing a signature and photograph. Once the application forms are processed, a person gets an appointment to undertake the mentioned services.
- Waiting for a new card
While waiting for a new card to be processed one should know, within 2 weeks of filing Form 1-90, USCIS mails Form 1-797C Notice of Action. This important document shows that your application has been accepted. You should save this document as it indicates you have started the process.
To get a new card, one will probably have to wait for 2 to 6 months. Usually, there is no way to hasten the process as applications have to pass through a detailed procedure. However, you can log on the USCIS website using your receipt number on receipt notice and check your case status.
- Proof of status before you get a new green card
Proof of status is always needed when one is traveling abroad or seeking employment while waiting for the card to be processed. No need to worry, one needs to take a passport to biometrics appointment at USCIS. Here, you request for an official stamp indicating you are USA permanent resident and you have filed for a new card.
The tips above will set you on the right track while replacing a green card. The process is not cheap as stated above. To some it’s fast while to others it may take some time. It’s vital to have a copy of the current green card if the original gets lost. If you are experiencing any problem replacing a card, due to previous arrests or immigration violations, it is paramount to contact an experienced immigration’s attorney.