What If You Do Not Renew Your Green Card Every 10 Years
Many people dream of leaving their home country and living and working in the United States. They may stay here on a visa for a temporary period to see if they like it here. Then, they can apply for their green card.
Immigration can be a tricky process. Once you get a green card, you become a permanent resident of the United States. Nothing changes that unless you travel to another country and stay there too long or you commit a crime and get deported.
Still, your green card needs to be renewed every 10 years. If your 10-year green card is expired or expiring within the next six months, you need to renew it. If your card does not have any expiration date on the front, then you have a very old version that may not even be valid. Even if your card does not have an expiration date on it, it is recommended that you apply to renew it.
That is because an expired green card is an out-of-date version. You need a current version on hand to prove that you can live and work legally in the United States. Also, if you travel abroad and do not have a current green card, you will not be able to re-enter the United States.
In addition, the law says you need to have your green card on you at all times. If you do not, you could be charged with a misdemeanor..
Renewing Your Green Card
Although green card renewal is required every 10 years, you will need to renew your green card sooner if you change your legal name or lose your card.
To renew your green card, you must follow these four steps:
- Complete a renewal application. You can do this either online or by mail.
- Gather your supporting documents.
- Pay the government fees, if required.
- Submit your application, then wait for your new green card. It could take as long as two months for your application to be processed.
It is possible for a renewal to be denied. Even a minor mistake can lead to your green card renewal being denied. Before submitting your application, be sure to sign in all required places. Make sure there are no misspellings or other errors. Also, attach all required evidence and documents. If you are unsure what to do, have an immigration lawyer help you.
Contact Our West Palm Beach Immigration Attorney Today
After getting your green card, you’re not fully done with the immigration process. While you are deemed a permanent resident, you need to ensure your card is updated every 10 years to prove your legal immigration status.
Immigration matters can be complex. Whether you are fighting removal, need to apply for citizenship, or want to secure a work visa, West Palm Beach immigration attorney Brian K. McMahon, P.A. can help. Schedule a consultation by filling out the online form or calling (561) 658-1789. We serve the West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Port St. Lucie, and South Florida areas.