A Permanent Resident Card is proof of your permanent resident status in the United States. It also serves as a valid identification document and proof that you are eligible to live and work in the United States. Although some Permanent Resident Cards, commonly known as Green Cards, contain no expiration date, most are valid for 10 years. If you have been granted conditional permanent resident status, the card is valid for 2 years. It is important to keep your card up-to-date. Without a valid card, it may be difficult for you to prove that you are a permanent resident, and this could also affect your ability to travel or to prove your eligibility to work in the United States.
When to Renew a Green Card?
You should renew your Permanent Resident Card if you were issued a card valid for 10 years that has either expired or will expire within the next 6 months. If your Permanent Resident Card is valid for only 2 years, you are a conditional resident. You will need to file a petition to remove the conditions of your residence before the card expires. You may file this petition 90 days before your conditional green card expires. If your petition is approved, you will be sent a new Permanent Resident Card valid for 10 years.
How to Renew a Green Card If You Are Outside the United States
If you are outside the United States and your green card will expire within 6 months (but you will return within 1 year of your departure from the United States and before the card expires), you should file for your renewal card as soon as you return to the United States.
If you are outside of the United States when the card expires and you have not applied for the renewal card prior to your departure, you should contact the nearest U.S. Consulate, USCIS office or U.S. port of entry before attempting to file for a renewal green card.