Ultimate Guide to Green Card Renewal: Everything You Need to Know

6 months ago

Ultimate Guide to Green Card Renewal: Everything You Need to Know

Are you a proud resident of the United States, an individual who treasures the myriad advantages and limitless prospects bestowed upon you by the possession of a Green Card? If this depiction aligns with your identity, then you are undoubtedly well-acquainted with the incomprehensible worth that this coveted document bestows upon you. Nevertheless, it is of paramount importance to fathom that your expedition does not culminate with the attainment of your Green Card; rather, it signifies merely the inception of an extraordinary odyssey.

We plunge into the intricacies of the Green Card renewal procedure in our exhaustive guide on the subject of Green Card Renewal. In doing so, we present you with a meticulously crafted roadmap, ensuring absolute transparency in your pursuit of preserving your cherished status as a permanent inhabitant of this magnificent nation.


When to Start the Green Card Renewal Process?

Delaying your Green Card renewal until the last moment is unwise. Understanding the application timeline and the risks of overstaying your Green Card is crucial for a seamless transition while maintaining your lawful permanent resident status in the US. Don't procrastinate; grasp the renewal process to secure your residency.


  • Timelines for Renewal Application

USCIS recommends starting the Green Card Renewal process approximately six months before your card's expiration date. This timeline provides a buffer, allowing for potential processing delays and ensuring that you remain a permanent resident without any interruptions. Waiting until the last moment can lead to unnecessary stress and complications.

Applying early also grants you the opportunity to correct any errors or provide additional documentation if necessary, which can be especially beneficial in cases where there might be discrepancies in your application.


  • Avoiding Overstaying Your Green Card

One of the most critical aspects of the renewal process is avoiding overstaying your Green Card's expiration date. Delaying your Green Card renewal can have severe consequences, including:

  • Loss of Legal Status: Once your Green Card expires, you are no longer a lawful permanent resident of America, which might impact your ability to work, travel, and access benefits.
  • Difficulty Renewing: USCIS may not accept your renewal application if you've already overstayed your Green Card. This could lead to a more complex and uncertain immigration status.
  • Deportation Risk: Overstaying your Green Card can put you at risk of deportation or removal proceedings.

It is crucial to start the renewal process well in advance in order to reduce these potential risks. If you find yourself in a situation where your Verdant Credential has already become obsolete, it is essential to seek immediate advice from an immigration advocate. The main goal of this consultation should be to determine any workable courses of action and to carry them out.


  • Eligibility for Green Card Renewal

The imperative of renewing your Green Card looms large to maintain your esteemed legal standing as a permanent resident within the confines of the United States of America. To navigate the complicated corridors of Green Card renewal with finesse, it becomes paramount to meticulously consider the prerequisites and multifarious factors that warrant your attention.

  • Permanent Resident Status: You could not qualify for the Green Card renewal, if you have gone through the process of becoming a U.S. citizen or if your status as a permanent resident has been revoked.
  • Expiration Date: Your Green Card should be expired or about to expire within six months. USCIS recommends filing for renewal approximately six months before your card's expiration date to ensure continuous lawful status.
  • No Criminal Convictions: Certain criminal convictions can affect your eligibility for renewal. It's essential to consult with an immigration attorney if you have a criminal record.
  • No Abandonment of Residency: You must demonstrate that you haven't abandoned your residence in the United States. Prolonged absences from the country can raise questions about your intention to maintain permanent residency.
  • No Removal Proceedings: If you're in removal proceedings, your eligibility for renewal may be affected. Seek legal counsel to address this situation.


Required Documentation for Green Card Renewal

When renewing your Green Card, meticulous attention to detail is crucial to ensure a successful application. Gathering the necessary documents and submitting them accurately can make the difference between a smooth renewal process and potential delays. Here's a breakdown of the essential documentation you'll need:


  • Form I-90: Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card

Form I-90 is the authorized application document employed for the solicitation of the renewal or reacquisition of your Permanent Resident Card, more commonly known as the Green Card. This particular document may be procured via the official U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website or by establishing contact with the USCIS National Customer Service Center.

  • Provide accurate personal information, including your A-number, if applicable.
  • Include your current contact information, including your mailing address.
  • Indicate the reason for filing (in this case, "Renewal").
  • Sign and date the form.
  • Pay the required application fee or request a fee waiver if eligible.


  • Supporting Documents Checklist

In support of your Green Card Renewal petition, you must furnish an array of documents to substantiate your identity, legal status, and entitlement for renewal. Although the precise paperwork requisite may fluctuate contingent on your individual circumstances, here is a catalog of frequently demanded supporting credentials:

  • Copy of your expiring or expired Green Card.
  • A copy of a government-issued photo identification (e.g., passport or driver's license).
  • Passport-size photos that meet USCIS specifications.
  • Marriage certificate or court documents (if your name has changed).
  • Evidence of legal name change (if applicable).
  • Copy of any previous Green Cards, if applicable.
  • Payment receipt for the application fee (if not requesting a fee waiver).
  • Proof of your lawful permanent resident status (e.g., I-551 stamp in your passport).
  • Proof of continuous residence in the United States (e.g., tax returns, leases, or utility bills).

It is imperative to acknowledge that the USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) may, contingent upon the specific nuances of your circumstance, solicit supplementary documentation. Hence, it is prudent to reference the official USCIS directives meticulously, and, if relevant, seek counsel from your immigration legal representative to guarantee the submission of a comprehensive and precise application bundle.


  • Common Mistakes to Avoid During Green Card Renewal

While preparing your Green Card Renewal application, it's essential to be aware of common mistakes that can lead to delays or denials:

  • Providing incorrect or outdated information on Form I-90.
  • Missing the application deadline or waiting until your Green Card has already expired.
  • Failing to include required supporting documents or submitting incomplete packages.
  • Not following USCIS formatting and photo specifications.
  • Neglecting to sign and date the application form.

By carefully reviewing your application, double-checking all documents, and avoiding these common mistakes, you can significantly increase your chances of a successful Green Card Renewal.


Filling Out Form I-90 for Green Card Renewal

The precise completion of Form I-90, a crucial document important in ensuring the continuous validity of your status as a lawful permanent resident within US territory, is a prerequisite for starting the renewal procedure for your Green Card.


  • Step-by-Step Guide to Completing the Form

  • Download Form I-90: Obtain Form I-90 from the official U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website or request a copy by contacting the USCIS National Customer Service Center.
  • Read the Instructions: Carefully review the instructions provided with the form. Ensure that you understand each section and the specific requirements for Green Card Renewal.
  • Complete Personal Information: Start by entering your personal information, including your full legal name, contact details, date of birth, and Social Security Number (if applicable).
  • Reason for Filing: Select "Renewal" as the reason for filing Form I-90. Be precise in indicating your intention to renew your Green Card.
  • Provide A-Number: If you have an Alien Registration Number (A-number), include it in the appropriate field.
  • Biographic Information: Answer all biographical questions accurately, including details about your height, weight, eye color, and hair color.
  • Address Information: Include your current mailing address, as this is where USCIS will send all correspondence regarding your application.
  • Additional Information: If your name has changed, provide the necessary details about your previous name, including any court-ordered name changes.
  • Signature and Date: Sign and date the form as required.
  • Payment: Pay the application fee as indicated in the instructions or request a fee waiver if you meet the eligibility criteria.
  • Supporting Documents: Assemble all necessary supporting documents as outlined in the checklist provided earlier. Ensure they are organized and accompany your application.


  • Tips for Providing Accurate Information

  • Double-check your Answers: Review each section of the form before submission to ensure accuracy. Mistakes can lead to delays or denials.
  • Follow Formatting Guidelines: Pay close attention to USCIS specifications for passport-size photos and other document formatting to avoid rejection.
  • Keep Copies: Make photocopies of your completed Form I-90 and all supporting documents for your records.
  • Application Fee: If you're paying the application fee, ensure that your payment method is accepted by USCIS.
  • Timely Submission: Submit your application well in advance of your Green Card's expiration date to avoid any lapses in your permanent resident status.


Fees and Payment Methods for Green Card Renewal

Renewing your Green Card involves specific fees, and understanding the payment process is essential to ensure a smooth renewal experience.


  • Application Fees and Fee Waivers

  • Application Fees: When renewing your Green Card using Form I-90, you are required to pay an application fee. The current cost to renew a green card is $540, which includes a $455 filing fee and an $85 biometrics fee (for your fingerprint, photo, and signature). However, fees can change over time, so it's crucial to check the current fee on the official USCIS website or by contacting USCIS directly.
  • Fee Waivers: USCIS may grant fee waivers to individuals who can demonstrate financial hardship or an inability to pay the application fee. Fee waiver eligibility is determined based on specific criteria, such as receiving means-tested public benefits or having a household income below 150% of the federal poverty guidelines. If you believe you qualify for a fee waiver, consult the USCIS guidelines and submit the necessary documentation to support your request.


  • Accepted Payment Methods

USCIS provides various payment methods to accommodate applicants. Accepted payment methods may include:

  • Credit Cards: USCIS generally accepts credit card payments, including Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover. Ensure that your credit card has sufficient funds to cover the application fee.
  • Debit Cards: Debit cards linked to a U.S. bank account are typically accepted for payment. Verify that your card is eligible for online transactions.
  • Personal Checks and Money Orders: USCIS often allows payment by personal checks or money orders. Ensure that the payment is made out to the "U.S. Department of Homeland Security."
  • Electronic Funds Transfer: In some cases, electronic funds transfer (EFT) may be accepted. Check the USCIS website or contact USCIS for details on EFT payments.


  • Avoiding Payment Pitfalls

To prevent complications during the payment process, consider these precautions:

  • Verify Current Fees: Before making any payment, confirm the current application fee on the USCIS website or through official USCIS communication channels.
  • Accurate Payment Amount: Ensure that you pay the correct fee amount. Underpayment or overpayment can lead to delays in processing your application.
  • Use Accepted Payment Methods: Stick to the payment methods accepted by USCIS. Avoid using cash or foreign currency.
  • Retain Payment Records: Keep copies of all payment receipts and records as proof of payment.
  • Timely Payment: Pay the fee promptly to initiate the processing of your Green Card Renewal application.


Submitting Your Green Card Renewal Application

Once you've completed your Green Card Renewal application, the next steps involve submitting it to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Understanding where to send it, how to track its delivery, and what to expect in terms of processing times is essential.


  • Mailing Address Options

USCIS offers different mailing address options for submitting your Form I-90, depending on your location and circumstances. It's crucial to select the appropriate address to ensure the timely processing of your application:

  • Regular Mailing Address: If you are sending your renewal application via regular mail, use the address provided on the USCIS website for your specific form and location. Ensure that you include all required documentation and the correct application fee or fee waiver request.
  • Express Mail and Courier Deliveries: If you choose to send your application through express mail or courier services, USCIS provides a separate address for this purpose. Make sure to use the address designated for express deliveries to avoid processing delays.


  • Delivery Confirmation and Tracking

Once you've sent your Green Card Renewal application, it's advisable to consider delivery confirmation and tracking options to ensure your submission reaches USCIS safely and on time:

  • Certified Mail with Return Receipt: Using certified mail with a return receipt provides proof of mailing and delivery. This option allows you to track the delivery and receive a signed confirmation of receipt from USCIS.
  • Courier Tracking: If you've opted for courier services, such as FedEx or UPS, these services typically offer tracking options. Keep the tracking number handy to monitor the progress of your delivery.


  • Processing Times and Receipt Notice

After USCIS receives your Green Card Renewal application, you may wonder about processing times and when you can expect to receive a receipt notice:

  • Processing Times: USCIS processing times can vary, so it's essential to check the USCIS website for the most up-to-date processing time estimates. Generally, it can take several months for USCIS to process your application.
  • Receipt Notice: USCIS typically sends a receipt notice (Form I-797C, Notice of Action) to confirm they've received your application. This notice includes a receipt number that you can use to track your case's status online. Keep this receipt notice in a safe place as it's an essential document.

During the processing period, USCIS may request additional information or documents. It's crucial to promptly respond to any such requests to avoid delays.


Biometrics Appointment for Green Card Renewal

As a part of the Green Card Renewal process, applicants are typically required to attend a biometrics appointment. This appointment plays a crucial role in verifying your identity and background.


  • What to Expect at Your Biometrics Appointment?

  • Appointment Notice: You will receive an appointment notice from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) indicating the date, time, and location of your biometrics appointment. This notice will also specify the documents you need to bring, which usually include a copy of the appointment notice and a valid photo ID.
  • Fingerprinting: At the biometrics appointment, your fingerprints will be taken. This process involves scanning your fingers to verify your identity. It is a standard procedure for background checks.
  • Photograph: You will also have a photograph taken. This photo will be used for identification purposes and may be printed on your renewed Green Card.
  • Signature: You may be asked to provide a digital or ink signature for your records.
  • Interview: In some cases, USCIS may ask you questions about your application or background. Be prepared to answer truthfully and provide any necessary clarification.
  • Duration: The entire biometrics appointment is relatively quick and typically takes less than an hour.


  • Rescheduling and Handling Delays

If you are unable to attend your scheduled biometrics appointment, it's essential to know how to reschedule or handle any unexpected delays:

  • Rescheduling: If you need to reschedule your appointment, follow the instructions provided in your appointment notice. USCIS often allows applicants to request a one-time rescheduling without additional fees. Make sure to do this well in advance to avoid missing your appointment.
  • Handling Delays: If your appointment is delayed due to unforeseen circumstances, such as the closure of a USCIS office, USCIS will typically reschedule the appointment for you. Keep an eye on your mail for a new appointment notice.
  • Communication: If you encounter any issues or delays, it's advisable to contact USCIS or consult your immigration attorney for guidance on how to proceed.


Interview and Additional Evidence for Green Card Renewal.

The interview and providing additional evidence are critical aspects of the Green Card Renewal process, which can vary depending on individual circumstances.


  • Interview Requirement: When Is It Necessary?

  • Standard Renewal: In most cases, a Green Card Renewal application does not require an interview. USCIS typically processes straightforward renewals without the need for an in-person interview.
  • Conditional Permanent Residents: Conditional permanent residents, such as those who obtained their Green Cards through marriage, may be required to attend an interview as part of the process to remove conditions on their Green Cards. This interview aims to confirm the legitimacy of the marriage and assess the applicant's eligibility for a 10-year Green Card.
  • Criminal or Legal Issues: If you have a criminal record or certain legal issues, USCIS may request an interview to discuss these matters and evaluate their impact on your eligibility for renewal.


  • Preparing for the Interview

If an interview is required as part of your Green Card Renewal process, here are some steps to help you prepare:

  • Review Your Application: Familiarize yourself with your Green Card Renewal application, including all the information and documents you submitted. Ensure that you can answer questions about your application accurately.
  • Gather Supporting Documents: Bring any supporting documents that may be relevant to your application, such as proof of continuous residence or employment.
  • Practice Interview Questions: While USCIS interviews are typically straightforward, it's a good idea to practice answering common interview questions to ensure clarity and confidence during the interview.
  • Dress Professionally: Dress appropriately for the interview, as you would for a formal appointment.
  • Arrive Early: Arrive at the USCIS office well ahead of your scheduled interview time.


  • Providing Additional Evidence If Requested

If USCIS requests additional evidence to support your Green Card Renewal application, follow these steps:

  • Read the Request Carefully: Thoroughly review the request from USCIS, which should specify the type of evidence needed and the deadline for submission.
  • Gather Required Documents: Collect the requested documents or evidence promptly. Ensure that they are accurate and complete.
  • Organize Your Response: Prepare a well-organized response that includes a cover letter explaining the documents you are submitting and how they address USCIS's request.
  • Submit Evidence Timely: Meet the specified deadline for submitting the additional evidence. Late submissions can lead to delays or denials.
  • Keep Copies: Maintain copies of all documents and correspondence with USCIS for your records.


Receiving Your New Green Card

Once your Green Card Renewal application is approved, you'll eagerly await the arrival of your new Permanent Resident Card.


  • Delivery Timeframe and Tracking of New Green Card

  • Delivery Timeframe: USCIS typically mails the new Green Card to your provided address within a specific timeframe after your application is approved. The exact timeframe can vary but is generally several weeks to a few months.
  • USPS Tracking: USCIS often uses the United States Postal Service (USPS) to deliver Green Cards. You may receive a tracking number to monitor the delivery progress online through the USPS website.
  • Delivery Confirmation: It's essential to ensure someone is available to receive the Green Card at your mailing address, as a signature may be required upon delivery. You can designate an authorized recipient if you won't be available.


  • Checking Your Card for Accuracy

Once your new Green Card arrives, it's crucial to carefully inspect it for accuracy and completeness. Here's what to look for:

  • Personal Information: Verify that your name, date of birth, and other personal details are correct.
  • Expiration Date: Ensure that the expiration date is accurate and matches your expectations based on the renewal.
  • Photograph: Check that the photograph accurately represents you and is of good quality.
  • Category: Ensure that your immigration category is correctly identified, such as "Lawful Permanent Resident."
  • Card Security Features: Familiarize yourself with the card's security features to distinguish a genuine Green Card from a counterfeit.


  • Address Updates 

If you have moved or plan to change your address soon after receiving your renewed Green Card, you must notify USCIS promptly. Here's how to update your address:

  • Online: USCIS provides an online Change of Address tool that allows you to update your address electronically.
  • Form AR-11: Alternatively, you can submit Form AR-11, Alien's Change of Address Card, by mail. Ensure that you complete and submit this form within the required timeframe.
  • Application Process: If you've moved during the Green Card Renewal application process, you should have updated your address on the renewal application itself. However, it's advisable to confirm the address change with USCIS using the methods above.


Common Issues and Troubleshooting During Green Card Renewal

While the Green Card Renewal process generally proceeds smoothly, some common issues may arise. Here's how to troubleshoot them effectively:


  • Lost or Stolen Green Cards

If your Green Card is lost or stolen, take the following steps:

  • File a Police Report: If your Green Card was stolen, it's a good idea to file a police report. This document may be required during the renewal process or when applying for a replacement.
  • Replace Your Green Card: To replace a lost or stolen Green Card, you will need to submit a new Form I-90, just like in the renewal process. Be prepared to pay the required application fee or request a fee waiver if eligible.
  • Notify USCIS: If your Green Card was lost or stolen, consider notifying USCIS to ensure that it is not misused fraudulently. Contact USCIS for guidance on how to proceed.


  • Application Rejections and Appeals

If your Green Card Renewal application is rejected or denied, you have options for appeal:

  • Review the Rejection Notice: If your application is rejected, USCIS will provide a notice explaining the reasons for rejection. Carefully review this notice to understand the issues.
  • Correct Errors: If your application was rejected due to errors or missing information, you can correct the issues and resubmit the application with the necessary corrections. Ensure that you adhere to USCIS guidelines and timelines for resubmission.
  • Appeal a Denial: If your application is denied, you have the right to appeal the decision. USCIS will provide instructions on how to file an appeal, including the appropriate form to use.
  • Consult an Immigration Attorney: If you are uncertain about the reasons for rejection or denial, or if you need assistance with the appeal process, consider consulting an immigration attorney. They can provide guidance and represent your interests effectively.
  • Document Evidence: When appealing a denial, provide strong evidence to support your case. This may include documents, affidavits, or other proof that addresses the issues raised by USCIS.
  • Be Mindful of Deadlines: Pay close attention to deadlines for appeals. Missing deadlines can jeopardize your chances of successfully appealing a denial.
  • Attend Interviews or Hearings: If an interview or hearing is part of the appeals process, be well-prepared to provide accurate and convincing information.

Remember that the Green Card Renewal process can be complex, and there can be variations in individual cases. Seeking professional advice and adhering to USCIS guidelines are essential when troubleshooting common issues or navigating the appeals process.


Maintaining Your Green Card Status

As a lawful permanent resident in the United States, it's essential to understand how to maintain your Green Card status to enjoy its benefits and privileges fully. 


  • Avoiding Green Card Abandonment

  • Continuous Residence: To maintain your Green Card status, you must maintain continuous residence in the United States. Prolonged absences from the country can raise questions about your intention to maintain permanent residency. Avoid extended stays abroad without proper documentation or reentry permits.
  • Reentry Permits: If you need to stay outside the United States for an extended period (usually one year or more), consider obtaining a reentry permit (Form I-131). This permit allows you to retain your Green Card status while abroad.
  • Filing Taxes: File U.S. tax returns, even if you're living abroad. Compliance with U.S. tax laws is essential for maintaining permanent resident status.
  • Maintaining Ties: Keep strong ties to the United States, such as property ownership, financial accounts, and family relationships. These ties demonstrate your commitment to maintaining U.S. residency.
  • Reentry Within One Year: If you stay outside the U.S. for more than six months but less than a year, you should still return within one year to avoid potential abandonment issues.


  • Permanent Resident Rights and Responsibilities

  • Rights: As a permanent resident, you have certain rights, including the right to live and work in the United States, travel outside the country with a Green Card, and access public education and benefits. You also have legal protections under U.S. law.
  • Responsibilities: Along with these rights, permanent residents have responsibilities. These include obeying U.S. laws, filing tax returns, and registering for Selective Service (if required and eligible). Additionally, you must carry your Green Card as proof of your status and present it when requested by immigration authorities or other relevant agencies.
  • Eligibility for Citizenship: Maintaining your Green Card status for a specific period can make you eligible to apply for U.S. citizenship. This process is entirely optional, but it provides additional rights and benefits, including the ability to vote and hold certain government positions.
  • Legal Obligations: Be aware of your legal obligations as a permanent resident. This includes disclosing any criminal convictions and adhering to immigration laws.
  • Notify USCIS: Keep USCIS updated with your current address using Form AR-11, Alien's Change of Address Card. This ensures that you receive important communication and notifications related to your Green Card status.
  • Consult an Immigration Attorney: If you have concerns or questions about your rights, responsibilities, or any legal matters related to your Green Card status, consider consulting an immigration attorney for guidance.



In conclusion, the Green Card Renewal process is a vital responsibility for lawful permanent residents in the United States. Timely renewal is essential to ensure the uninterrupted enjoyment of your permanent resident status. Throughout this comprehensive guide, we have explored various aspects of Green Card Renewal, from eligibility criteria to the final steps of maintaining your status.



  • Can I travel abroad while my Green Card renewal is pending?

Yes, you can travel abroad while your Green Card renewal is pending. However, it's essential to consider the potential risks. You must carry your expired Green Card, the USCIS receipt notice for your renewal application (Form I-797), and a valid passport when traveling. Reentry to the U.S. may be subject to inspection and approval by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.


  • How much does it cost to renew a Green Card?

The cost of renewing a Green Card can vary and is subject to change. It typically includes the application fee for Form I-90, which must be paid when submitting your renewal application. To obtain the most up-to-date fee information, visit the USCIS website or consult official USCIS resources.


  • What if my Green Card is lost or stolen?

If your Green Card is lost or stolen, you should apply for a replacement using Form I-90. Report the loss or theft to local law enforcement and keep a copy of the police report as it may be required during the application process.


  • Do I need to renew my Green Card if I'm applying for U.S. citizenship?

If you are applying for U.S. citizenship and meet the eligibility criteria, you may not need to renew your Green Card. Becoming a U.S. citizen grants you permanent status, and you can apply for a U.S. passport as proof of citizenship. However, consult with USCIS or an immigration attorney to confirm your specific situation.


  • Can I renew my Green Card if I have a criminal record?

Having a criminal record may affect your Green Card renewal. USCIS will assess your criminal history and determine if it impacts your eligibility. Some offenses can lead to denial or removal proceedings. Consult with an immigration attorney for guidance on how to address criminal issues during the renewal process.


  • Is there a grace period if my Green Card expires?

There is no official grace period for an expired Green Card. It is crucial to renew your Green Card well before its expiration date to maintain your lawful permanent resident status. Failure to renew on time may result in difficulties and complications.


  • What happens if my Green Card renewal application is denied?

If your Green Card renewal application is denied, you have the right to appeal the decision. USCIS will provide instructions on the appeals process. Alternatively, you may reapply, addressing any issues or errors that led to the initial denial.


  • How long does the Green Card renewal process typically take?

The processing time for Green Card renewal can vary, but it typically takes several months. USCIS provides estimated processing times on its website. To expedite the process, submit a well-prepared and error-free application.


  • Can I renew my Green Card online?

Yes, you can renew your Green Card online using the USCIS website if you meet certain eligibility criteria. USCIS offers an electronic filing option for Form I-90. Check the USCIS website for specific requirements and instructions.


  • Do I need to renew my Green Card if I haven't used it for several years?

Yes, you are still required to renew your Green Card even if you haven't used it for several years. Maintaining an unexpired Green Card is essential to maintain your lawful permanent resident status in the United States.