How do I renew my green card?

The difference between the I-90 and I-751.

One of the most common questions that we often run across during our daily practice is, "How do I renew my green card?" Assuming that you do indeed already have permanent residence in the United States, "renewing" it can understandably be confusing. Most of the confusion stems from the fact that there are two forms issued by USCIS that potentially apply.

The first form is the I-90, which is an Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card. Generally speaking, this form needs to be completed should you lose your green card or the actual card is due to expire. This form also needs to be completed if there is an error on the card or if your case has been approved for permanent residence, but you have not yet received your card.

The I-90 is different and should not be confused with the I-751, which conditional permanent residents are obligated to file at least 90 days before the expiration of their green cards. Conditional permanent residents are people who have obtained permanent residence through marriage to a US Citizen or Permanent Resident. Their cards indicate an expiration date that is two years from the date residency was first granted. Conditional permanent residents, technically speaking, cannot renew their conditional cards. They must generally apply with their spouses to actually remove the conditions on their residence. There are exceptions to the joint filing requirement, which we discuss in another article.

Renewing green cards and removing conditions on green cards can sometimes be complicated by the fact that a person may have been arrested or convicted after the grant of permanent residence or in the case of removing conditions, subsequently separated from or been divorced from their petitioning spouse.

This article, of course, is no substitute for legal advice nor should it be construed as creating an attorney client relationship. For more information on either the I-90 or I-751, please call to consult with an immigration lawyer at our New Jersey office.