Advice & Help

Immigration Q & A – Will They Take Away My Green Card If I Try To Get A New One?

green card

I have an old green card. I am worried if I try to get a new one they will take it away. How can I get a new green card?

Green cards issued before 1989 have no expiration date on them. All Green Card without an expiration date MUST be replaced as well as those pre-1989 cards without an expiration date. All U.S. green cards that were issued in 1989 or later have an expiration date on the front. They are valid for ten years, at the end of which you are expected to renew your green card. The process for renewing green cards involves submitting Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card, issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Your Green card will be replaced as your Permanent Residence does not expire when your Green Card does.

This is a common source of confusion, but no, your status as a permanent residence will not be affected if you do not renew your green card. However, you will face difficulty proving your status as a lawful permanent resident, getting employment, reentering the U.S. after foreign travel, and so forth. Besides, you are required by law to carry valid evidence of your immigration status — and an expired green card is not considered valid evidence.

The renewal requirement comes as a particular surprise to immigrants who received green cards between 1979 and 1988. In the past, these did not have an expiration date and did not need to be renewed. However, the system has changed, and you are now expected to renew such cards. If you haven’t done so already, do so right away.

You must submit a copy of your expiring or expired green card along with Form I-90. If your name has changed since the issuance of your green card, you must submit evidence of your name change – court order, marriage certificate, adoption decree, and so on. You should submit your application within the six months leading up to your green card’s expiration. That will give USCIS time to process the application.

NOTE: If your green card has a two-year expiration date on it, that’s a completely different matter. You are not a permanent resident, but a conditional residence whose actual status will, in fact, expire if you do not take steps to convert to permanent residence within the 90 days before your expiration date. See an attorney if that date has gone by.

If you need more detailed on this topic please feel free to contact me

Wayne C.Golding Sr. Esq.
The Golding Law group PLC
311 North Rosalind Ave
Orlando, Florida 3201
407 574 8691
[email protected]

About Wayne C.Golding Sr. Esq.
Born in Kingston, Jamaica in June 1964, Wayne spent some of his formative years growing up in parish of St. Mary.  He is proud that he was blessed with the experience of both “Jamaican country and town life”. He is the child of a St. Mary born mother, Minette Brown – Gayle, a Clarendon born father Louis Golding and is married to Lois Johnson who is also a quintessential  daughter of the soil of Jamaica. Lois and Wayne are the parents of two children Tassanee and Wayne, Jr.  He is a family man who is often joined by his parents and in – laws in his travels and related Diaspora activities.  He credits his strong Jamaican upbringing and access to quality education in Jamaica for his successes in life. This moulding has contributed to his attention to details, perseverance in his law practice and his daily life.

About the author

Wayne Golding

Wayne C. Golding Sr. Esq. is the principal attorney in the litigation law firm, The Golding Law Group, PLC. He mainly practices in the areas of Criminal law, Government litigation and Immigration. Hailing originally from the island of Jamaica, he is a prominent legal analyst for several Caribbean media outlets. As a dedicated and award wining community activist he is strong advocate for the galvanization and legal rights of not only Jamaicans but for the entire Caribbean Diaspora at large. He has served his community in many capacities including but not limited to serving as the Jamaica Diaspora Advisory Board Member for the Southern USA and Chairman of the Orange County Bi-Racial Committee.