A green card is a nickname for Legal Permanent Resident status (LPR). The nickname came about because many years ago LPR cards were green! Today, LPR identification cards are not typically green, but the nickname has continued. We’re often asked, is a Legal Permanent Residence – a green card – actually permanent?
A green card holder is someone who has been granted permission from USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services) to live and work in the United States. A valid, unexpired green card is legal proof for a foreign citizen to accept employment, live in the United States forever, reenter the United States, and get or renew a driver’s license in many states. Some permanent resident cards do not have an expiration date. Although the actual green card says the word “Permanent,” the green card itself is valid for 10 years for Permanent Residents and 2 years for Conditional Permanent Residents. Then, the card must be renewed or replaced, depending on the situation.
10 Year Green Cards
You should renew your physical green card if you were issued a card that is valid for 10 years and it has either expired or it will expire within the next 6 months. Given the current immigration backlogs, it would be smart to apply to renew your green card as soon as you are eligible. An immigration attorney can advise you on the current processing time range and when to apply for renewal.
2 Year Green Cards
A Conditional Permanent Resident should apply for a petition to remove the conditions of your residence before the green card expires. You should file this petition 90 days before your conditional green card expires. If your petition is approved, the conditions will be removed and you will be sent a new physical Permanent Resident Card that is valid for 10 years.
No Expiration Date
There are some very old green cards that do not have an expiration date on the front. If your green card does not have an expiration date, you should consult an immigration attorney to see if you should apply to renew it.
The increasingly complex rules governing legal permanent residence and green cards have made the immigration process difficult to understand. With experience in many green cards and many types of family and business immigration cases, Mario Godoy and the other experienced immigration attorneys at the Godoy Law Office can assess your situation and advise you on your best options. Call today at 630-912-0322.